First South Bancorp in Washington, N.C., has become the latest community bank to buy branches from Bank of America.

The $711 million-asset company said in a press release Wednesday that it will buy nine branches, largely in eastern North Carolina, from Bank of America. The transaction will include $261 million in deposits, fixed assets and a small amount of loans. First South said it expects to complete the acquisition in the fourth quarter.

"We look forward to welcoming these new customers, employees and communities," Bruce Elder, First South's president and chief executive, said in the release. "Expansion into these new markets supports our strategy to capitalize on opportunities that leverage our capital, create scale, increase operating efficiencies and enhance shareholder value."

First South Bank was advised by Raymond James and Wyrick Robbins Yates & Ponton.

Bank of America has sold hundreds of branches in recent years. In North Carolina, the company had already agreed to sell branches to Carolina Financial in Charleston, S.C.; First Community Bank in Bluefield, Va.; and HomeTrust Bancshares (HTBI) in Asheville, N.C.

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