Even a century-old community bank can try something new now and then.

Bank of Botetourt in Buchanan, Va., founded in 1899, said Thursday it has opened a mortgage division to pursue unmet demand for home loans in southwestern Virginia.

The new unit, Virginia Mountain Mortgage, is offering purchase and refinancing products, construction loans and investment property loans, according to a news release. Duaine Fitzgerald, the chief financial services officer and a 16-year veteran of the bank, will head the new unit. He will oversee 15 employees, including eight mortgage specialists.

The $323 million-asset Bank of Botetourt has 10 branches and deposits of nearly $288 million. It produced net income of $2.7 million last year on revenue of about $16 million, according to its call report.

It has taken other modernization steps in recent years, including making a switch in 2013 to Fiserv's account-processing system and mobile-banking offerings from an in-house system.

Competition in the Virginia banking market has intensified in recent years, and it has also become a hotbed for mergers and acquisitions. Hampton Roads Bankshares in Virginia Beach said Thursday it had agreed to buy Xenith Bankshares in Richmond for $107.2 million.


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