Banks to close branches at year end, part of consolidation effort

Two branches of Carter Bank & Trust are among the 12 in Virginia and North Carolina set to close at the end of the year as part of a consolidation effort, according to corporate officials.

Locally, the Ararat and Woolwine will close on Dec. 29, according to Kim Adkins, vice president and director of marketing. She noted several other branches in other locations also are set to close, including Troutville, Emporia, Stuarts Draft and Abingdon in Virginia, and six additional branches in North Carolina.

Adkins said the closings are due to decreased foot traffic and lower deposits, combined with Carter’s decision to launch new, online banking, which marked a “huge investment.”

Determining which branches to close “was primarily based on the level of customer foot traffic in addition to alignment with other strategic initiatives currently underway at Carter Bank & Trust. As we start unveiling our new online products and services in 2018, we anticipate this foot traffic will continue to decline,” Adkins said.

“We really are trying to continue to serve Patrick County as we have always done,” Adkins said, and explained affected customers have or currently are being notified that their accounts and safety deposit boxes will be transferred to the most convenient branch location.

“There will be no interruption of banking services,” she added.

A total of 40 employees are affected by the consolidation, including the four in Ararat and two in Woolwine, Adkins said.

However, “no employees will lose their job,” she said, and added all impacted employees will be accommodated through positions in other branches.

This decision to close “has no reflection on our employees, who provide exceptional services to our customers at these branches. This is an exciting time for us as we continue to offer our basic banking services very well, while improving the customer experience for many, who may want the convenience of online banking,” Adkins said.

Carter Bank & Trust currently operates 122 branches.

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