Originally created 03/02/05

Five area banks will be closed



Wachovia Corp. announced Tuesday it will gain eight area branches as part of its merger with SouthTrust Bank.

Wachovia currently has 19 area branches; SouthTrust has 13.

Less than a week after three SouthTrust locations were sold to Orlando, Fla.-based R-G Crown Bank to satisfy regulatory concerns with the merger, Wachovia says it will close five branches in areas where the two banks are closely located.

Four SouthTrust branches and one Wachovia branch are scheduled to be consolidated, Wachovia spokesman David Oliver said. Accounts will be transferred to the nearest branch.

"We look to make sure we are operating efficiently and not duplicating services when unnecessary," Mr. Oliver said.

Four of the five branches will close June 9, Mr. Oliver said. The SouthTrust branch in the Kroger grocery store at 3435 Wrightsboro Road will close before the end of the year, but no specific date has been set.

Location, accessibility, business volume and ability to handle increased business determined which branches would be closed.

Three of the SouthTrust branches selected are located inside Kroger stores.

Wachovia has an agreement with Jenkinton, Penn.-based American Financial Realty Trust to buy the closed properties.

Calls to Glenn Blumenthal, the chief operating officer for American Financial, were not immediately returned.

Reach James Gallagher at (706) 823-3227 or james.gallagher@augustachronicle.com.

Wachovia-SouthTrust Merger

Branch closing/branch absorbing the business

 •  SouthTrust, 2801 Washington Road/Wachovia, 2835 Washington Road

 •  SouthTrust, 1 10th St./Wachovia, 699 Broad St.

 •  SouthTrust, 3435 Wrightsboro Road/Wachovia, 3430 Wrightsboro Road

 •  Wachovia, 2574 Tobacco Road/SouthTrust, 2524 Tobacco Road

 •  SouthTrust, 4115 Columbia Road/Wachovia, 3726 Washington Road

Source: Wachovia Corp.