First Bancorp in Southern Pines, N.C., will close 10 branches in three states.

The $3.3 billion-asset company said in a press release Wednesday that it will consolidate the branches in to locations that are less than 10 miles away. The closures will take place on Dec. 5.

The closings are the result of changing customer banking preferences and a need to reinvest in stronger branches to serve larger areas, said Cathy Dudley, First Bancorp's chief retail banking officer. "Like many banks, we've seen a significant spike in online and mobile banking usage these last few years and a decrease in branch transaction volumes," she said.

"Many of the large banks have left rural areas across our footprint, but we believe the small business owners and families in these areas still need a strong banking partner in their communities," Dudley added. "It is why we are consolidating locations and re-investing in new technologies, services and products."

Eight of the branches are in North Carolina. South Carolina and Virginia will each lose a branch.

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