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First Community purchasing Bank of America

By MELINDA WILLIAMS

melinda@southwesttimes.com

 

The Pulaski branch office is among six Southwestern Virginia branches of Bank of America that will be purchased by First Community Bank.

Nicole Nastacie, a corporate spokeswoman for Bank of America, confirmed Tuesday that First Community Bank has entered into an agreement to purchase banking centers from Bank of America.

“The decision to sell these locations to a community bank, rather than closing them, was made to preserve as many jobs as possible and ensure these communities will continue to be served with convenient local branches,” Nastacie said. “Our goal is to provide the right network for our customers to do their banking, including banking centers, ATMs, online and mobile banking.”

She added, “We are working with First Community Bank to ensure a smooth and successful transition with minimal inconvenience for customers and employees.”

In addition to the Pulaski branch, at the corner of East Main Street and Bob White Boulevard, other Virginia branches being sold to First Community are in Blacksburg, Hillsville, Wytheville, Gate City and Abingdon, according to a Tuesday report on the Wall Street Journal website. A branch in Mt. Airy, N.C. also is part of the agreement.

The Wall Street Journal report indicates the transaction will add about $440 million in deposits to First Community, which is a subsidiary of First Community Bankshares Inc., headquartered in Bluefield, W.Va. At present, First Community’s closest branch to Pulaski County is in Fort Chiswell. It has 68 branches in Virginia.

The Journal report indicates First Community intends to hire all of Bank of America’s current employees. Bank of America loans are not included in the transaction.

During the transition phase of the sale, Nastacie said, Bank of America has “a team of dedicated customer care agents” to assist and support customers who call 1-866-251-0233.

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