Virginia community bank cuts 12% of its staff

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New Peoples Bankshares in Honaker, Va., has fired about 12% of its staff.

The $715 million-asset company said in a press release Friday that it made the cuts after a review of its organizational structure. The cuts represent about 27 positions, based on the company’s headcount on Dec. 31.

New Peoples did not disclose the types of positions eliminated, though it said the move will save it about $1.6 million annually. The company expects to incur about $358,000 in one-time expenses tied to severance and assistance with health insurance.

While the “changes are difficult,” the company said, the cuts were “necessary to achieve the long-term goals of the company and the bank, and to proactively address operational challenges during the current COVID-19 pandemic and a changing financial services industry."

The restructuring “is part of an overall plan to position the bank competitively within the ranks of high-performing community banks in the southeast; improving our customer experience, the financial performance of the institution and ultimately the return to shareholders,” Todd Asbury, the company’s president and CEO, said in the release.

New Peoples recently reported that its first-quarter earnings fell by 89% from a year earlier, to $46,000. Its loan-loss provision increased to $1 million from $135,000 a year earlier.

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