STUARTS DRAFT – The Stuarts Draft BB&T branch will close next year and its customers will be consolidated into another branch.
SunTrust and BB&T, which merged in 2019, is now called Truist. A number of branches of the two banks have closed since 2020 to merge.
According to Amber Odom, spokesperson for Truist, the branch will be merged with the SunTrust Waynesboro Eastgate branch at 1100 W. Broad St. in Waynesboro.
As of February 18, 2022, the Stuarts Draft branch at 2857 Stuarts Draft Highway and will move its operations to Waynesboro.
Odom said there would be no job loss associated with the consolidation.
âAll the teammates in the Draft branch of BB&T Stuart are moving to different locations,â she said. “Our customer relationships will automatically transfer to our SunTrust Waynesboro Branch Eastgate branch where they will receive the same attention and customer service they are used to.”
According to Odom, with so many BB&T and SunTrust branches close together, this is an opportunity to “reduce redundant branches” without impacting customers too much.
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The closure raises the question: are in-person bank branches necessary?
âLike many industries, we are seeing the preferences and behaviors of our customers change as more and more customers choose to do business with us digitally,â said Odom. âThis trend has accelerated further due to COVID-19. “
Since the start of the COVID pandemic, activity on SunTrust and BB&T mobile apps has increased 11% and mobile check deposits have increased 26%.
âThis has had a gradual effect on customer traffic patterns and branch office usage,â Odom said.
With mobile apps and online banking, it allows customers to bank anywhere, anytime.
âTo date, we have seen virtually no customer attrition through this consolidation process,â said Odom.
Overall, COVID has caused the majority of the population to turn to online options, like mobile and online banking.
According to a Chase Digital Banking Trends report, Chase QuickDeposit deposits checks using his cell phone, which is over 40% of all check deposits compared to 30% before COVID.
According to Value Penguin, a research brand of Lending Tree, a recent study found that 71% of customers surveyed regularly used online banking and 43% regularly used mobile banking.
Among survey respondents who mainly used mobile banking in the past 12 months, the main uses are as follows:
- Checking an account balance or recent transactions – 94% of respondents
- Money transfer between bank accounts – 58% of respondents
- Receive an alert – 56% of respondents
- Depositing a check using a mobile camera – 48% of respondents
- Pay an invoice – 47% of respondents
- Location of the nearest ATM or branch of their bank – 36% of respondents
“Mobile banking services offer increasingly sophisticated practical features capable of replacing physical services,” the survey said. “As consumers become more familiar with and more confident about mobile technology, the use of web applications and tools for banking will increase.”
Truist is the sixth-largest commercial bank in the United States, serving approximately 10 million consumer households and a full range of commercial clients, with a leading market share in many of the country’s most attractive and high-growth markets , according to a statement.
The transition to Truist began in 2020 and will continue into the next year. There are no changes related to the merging of account numbers or routing numbers for checking, savings and money market accounts for the vast majority of customers, the release said. Most customers won’t need to order new checks or make any changes to direct deposits, automatic drafts or wire transfer instructions related to those accounts, the statement said.
It is not the first banking brand to close due to the merger.
In 2020, it was announced that the SunTrust site on West Beverley Street in downtown Staunton would close and move to the main branch of BB&T Staunton at 125 N. Central Ave.
Laura Peters is the current affairs reporter at The News Leader. Do you have any advice on trends or local businesses? Or a good feature? You can reach journalist Laura Peters (she) at [email protected]. Am here @peterslaura. Subscribe to The News Leader at newsleader.com.