Hoping to benefit from the wave of acquisitions that has hit Virginia, Union Bankshares, Bowling Green, Va., said it plans to form a new bank in Williamsburg.

The new institution, Bank of Williamsburg, is to have its own charter and board.

"For a community as large as it is, Williamsburg has no hometown community banks," said G. William Beale, president and chief executive officer of $671 million-asset Union Bankshares.

To lead the new bank, Union has hired J. Michael Johnson, formerly a regional vice president at Crestar Financial Corp., Richmond, Va.

Big mergers have wiped out many of the state's largest homegrown institutions. Last summer, North Carolina's Wachovia Corp. and First Union Corp. snapped up three of the commonwealth's five largest banking companies. And last week, SunTrust Banks Inc., Atlanta, said it would buy Crestar.

Bank of Williamsburg would have local competition, however. Five area banks have branches in Williamsburg, a popular tourist destination.

Construction of the bank is to begin within 90 days.

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