Bank Services of Virginia has prospered by bucking the trend to electronic services and targeting what it calls "the average person" who values low fees and extended operating hours.
Tellers at Bank Services' 10 banks still use passbooks to record depositors' savings. The banks have no automated teller machines, no toll-free numbers, and no Web sites. And as long as Worth Harris Carter Jr. remains in charge of the $1.8 billion-asset company in Bassett, things will pretty much stay that way. Mr. Carter - who is chairman, president, and chief executive officer of the holding company, the third-largest in Virginia, and of all 10 banks - says computers are not consistent with the "eyeball-to-eyeball" philosophy of banking he espouses. Moreover, merging onto the information superhighway costs money, something Mr. Carter parts with only grudgingly.