Wednesday, June 5, 2013

SunTrust wants more branches in Charlotte region

At a time when many banks are shuttering branches across the country, SunTrust Banks is considering putting more in the Charlotte area.

SunTrust acquired branches in Charlotte  and in other parts of North Carolina  after it bought Memphis, Tenn.-based National Commerce Financial Corp., parent company of Central Carolina Bank, in 2004.

Since then, SunTrust has failed to grow its deposits enough to rank higher than sixth place in the city of Charlotte and fifth place in North Carolina, according to Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. data.

In an interview with the Observer this week, Bill Peele, president of the Atlanta bank's Mecklenburg/South Carolina region since 2011, said he wants to grow the bank's market share in the Charlotte area. To that end, the bank could use additional branches in some pockets of the region, he said.

Specifically, SunTrust is eyeing sites in the Lake Norman area and just across the South Carolina border, he said.

SunTrust already has branches in the Lake Norman region, including in the towns of Huntersville and Mooresville, but "we actually could use a few more up there," Peele said.

"Then we'd like to head over the border to South Carolina into York and Lancaster (counties)," he said.

"There are some markets that we're not in that are growing ... that we'd like to be in."

Peele wouldn't say exactly how many branches the bank wants to add. But as for the city of Charlotte, the bank has enough branches there, he said.

In Mecklenburg County, SunTrust has 19 branches, according to federal data. Bank of America, with 39, has the most in the county.

SunTrust has 0.37 percent of the deposits in the county, putting it behind Raleigh-based First Citizens Bank, which is at No. 5 with 0.49 percent. SunTrust's deposits in the county total $712.4 million.

It's unclear when SunTrust might open more branches in the Charlotte region. Peele said SunTrust, like other banks, must watch expenses while trying to grow revenue.

Last year, SunTrust's net income available to shareholders was $1.9 billion, or $3.59 per average diluted common share, up from $495 million, or 94 cents per share, in 2011.

SunTrust said its assets totaled $172.4 billion as of March 31.


Anonymous said...

Haven't they had a brand new branch at Rivergate Shopping Center in SW Charlotte ready to go for 4+ years?

Maybe they could start by opening that one!