Tappahannock-based EVB in early September shut down its branch in Bowling Green. About 50 miles south, construction is underway for its newest branch in Colonial Heights.
The new location, a 5,000-square-foot office that will replace a nearby smaller building, is expected to be complete this year, said EVB Chief Executive Joe Shearin.
“We continually look at sites and the markets they’re in on at least an annual basis to determine [whether we are] in the right spots,” Shearin said. “We looked at Bowling Green’s market. It’s not growing on its own.”
EVB, like many of its peers, reduced branches over the past few years to shave expenses, mostly by consolidating the operations of branches that were close to each other.
The new Colonial Heights branch will be at 3012 Boulevard, about 200 yards from a current EVB branch.
“We had outgrown the [current] facility and couldn’t expand it because we leased it,” Shearin said.
The new branch is part of several construction projects in that part of Colonial Heights. Read more in a report from the Progress-Index.
The shuttered branch in Caroline County, at 202 N. Main St. in Bowling Green, struggled to grow its loans and deposits since the recession. Shearin said the bank had given it several years to see if it could turn a corner.
“We hadn’t been able to grow it, and we decided to exit that market,” he said.
It also was a bit isolated from the rest of EVB’s footprint in a part of the region dominated by other banks, including Union First Market Bank.
“The branch was a little out of our marketplace,” Shearin said. “It didn’t seem to fit into our plans.
EVB owns the property and has it up for sale, Shearin said. Nearby EVB branches in Ashland and King William can serve customers of the closed branch.
EVB is one of several local banks that had struggled for more than two years after the downturn, but it has begun to turn the corner and post consecutive quarterly profits.
After losses in 2009, 2010 and much of 2011, the Tappahannock-based bank reported a $473,000 profit in the second quarter and a profit of almost $1 million through the first six months of the year.
EVB’s nonperforming assets were down to $22 million from $35 million at the end of the second quarter. That’s from a peak of $39 million in 2010.
With 22 branches, the bank doesn’t have any other real estate moves planned.
“Right now we’re comfortable where we are. We might relocate one here or there,” Shearin said.