BB&T is planning to more than double its branch network in Texas by opening 30 new offices in the state’s four largest metropolitan markets.

The $182 billion-asset company said Thursday that it plans to open roughly 11 branches in both Houston and Dallas/Fort Worth and up to four each in San Antonio and Austin. Most of the branches are expected to open in 2013 and will focus primarily on commercial and small-business lending.
The move is consistent with BB&T’s strategy of adding branches in areas where it has yet to achieve top 5 market share. Though the company has not sworn off acquisitions – it recently completed a deal in Florida for BankAtlantic Bancorp – Chief Executive Kelly King has been telling investors and analysts recently that it is just as bullish on branch building.

"We have a number of [markets] fortunately that we can invest in and get really high returns from a de novo perspective," King said at an investor conference in September.

Based in Winston-Salem, N.C., BB&T entered Texas in 2009 when it acquired the failed Colonial Bank and since then it has grown deposits there by about 68%, largely by adding more branches. Still, at June 30, it had just a 0.23% share of the state’s deposits, ranking it No. 36 among banks there.

The company said in its news release that all the expansion would not involve new construction; all the new branches would be opened in existing properties — including former bank branches — that have been vacated.  The expansion is expected to cost roughly $40 million and create about 150 new jobs, BB&T said.

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