WesBanco in West Virginia closing 20 branches
WesBanco in Wheeling, W.Va., is planning to close 20 branches.
The $16.7 billion-asset company said in a press release Friday that it will shutter branches in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Two other branches will be converted to drive-through locations.
WesBanco, which announced plans earlier this year to close five branches, said migration to digital banking was a big reason for the decision.
“Reflecting the reality of the current environment, we have experienced increased utilization across all of our digital channels as we have effectively met the financial service needs of our customers,” President and CEO Todd Clossin said in the release. “Therefore, we are accelerating our branch optimization strategy to better align our operations with the needs and preferences of our customers.”
WesBanco joins a growing list of community banks to permanently close branches, citing declining foot traffic in the branches and increased consumer use of self-service digital channels.
Other banks to recently announce branch closures include CB Financial Services in Carmichaels, Pa.; Mercantile Bank in Grand Rapids, Mich.; Nicolet Bankshares in Green Bay, Wis.; and National Bank Holdings in Greenwood Village, Colo.
Simmons First National in Pine Bluff, Ark., plans to close 23 branches and a loan production office by the end of this year, and Great Southern Bancorp in Springfield, Mo., is considering closuresy. Five Star Bank in Warsaw, N.Y., is shrinking its branch network by 10%.
While some of these plans were in the works before COVID-19, the pandemic has accelerated the shift from branch banking to digital channels.
WesBanco said it expects to record $3.5 million to $4 million in charges tied to lease terminations, severance and other costs. The company said the closures should reduce annual expenses by $6 million to $6.5 million starting in the first half of 2021.