Suffolk Bancorp (SUBK) in Riverhead, N.Y., is working its way through a plan to close six branches.

The $1.7 billion-asset company said Thursday that it closed two branches last month, and that another four branches will close by next March. The branches, all of which are in Suffolk County, represent about 20% of the company's locations but hold just 6% of total deposits.

The closures are expected to save Suffolk more than $2.4 million annually, though the company will record a $1.9 million charge in the fourth quarter tied to the moves. Suffolk said it has a contract to sell one branch, which should lead to a $400,000 gain on sale. The company also believes it can sell another location next year.

The fourth-quarter charge will cover early lease terminations and severance costs, among other things. Suffolk did not disclose how many positions it would cut.

"One year ago, with the assistance of an experienced outside consultant, we commenced a comprehensive analysis of our branch system," Howard Bluver, the company's president and chief executive, said in a press release. "We had two major goals for this project: first, identify opportunities to significantly reduce operating expenses in order to become a more efficient and nimble organization; and second, protect and enhance what we believe is one of the best core deposit franchises in the entire community banking space. … We believe we have accomplished both goals."

Suffolk is focusing more attention to nearby Nassau County. The company recently disclosed plans to open a branch in Garden City. On Thursday, Suffolk disclosed that the office will be relatively small, with 544 square feet and three employees.

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