Virginia Community Bank will consolidate its two town of Louisa branches at the first of the year. The courthouse branch, located at the corner of Cutler Avenue and Main Street since 1987, will cease operation on Jan. 1.
The decision was prompted by the fact that one of the branch’s two longtime employees is retiring at the end of this year, coupled with a decline in foot traffic, according to Tom Crowder, the bank’s executive vice president.
The other employee who was based there will be relocated to the bank’s main branch, about one-half mile east on Main Street near the Glen Marye Shopping Center.
Bank officials have not decided what they will do with the space, but have a few options including potentially using it as a support facility. Virginia Community Bank leases the other half of the building to Smokin’ Eddie’s restaurant.
Banks are not permitted to own property for the sole purpose of generating income. As long as there was a banking operation in half of the building, they were able to rent out the other side over the years to real estate companies, attorneys and for the past decade, the restaurant.
Financial institutions across the country are seeing a decline in foot traffic inside branch offices as more customers take advantage of online and mobile banking services and primarily use debit or credit cards, rather than cash.
The number of commercial banks nationwide has declined from 7,076 in 2008 to 4,774, according to a Sept. 18 Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. report. In 1990, there were 12,343 commercial banks.
In rural markets like Louisa County, Crowder said customers can benefit from newer technologies that save them time by not having to drive several miles to a branch to handle banking transactions.
This is a partial article. Read the full story in The Central Virginian’s Nov. 29, 2018 issue.
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