As it heads into its second year in the Charlotte market, PNC Bank is scouting locations to open more branches in what is already a highly competitive city for banks.
Pittsburgh-based PNC Financial Services Group is eyeing sites in south Charlotte but is also looking at other areas, said Weston Andress, president of the bank’s Western North Carolina operation. PNC, with 17 branches in Charlotte, ranks 10th in the city for the amount of deposits it holds.
“It’ll be nice when we have some more branches because that’s additional advertising,” Andress said.
PNC entered Charlotte last year when it acquired RBC Bank’s Raleigh-based U.S. business. Andress said PNC’s initial focus in its Western North Carolina territory has been on commercial banking, but it would like to grow its retail operation.
The bank is not ready to announce new Charlotte branch locations yet, he said, adding that south Charlotte is attractive because it’s a high-growth area.
Like other banks, PNC is rethinking the traditional branch format. For example, Wells Fargo, which has been trying to cut costs by reducing the space it occupies, is experimenting with smaller branches, introducing one in Washington, D.C., last month.
Andress said PNC’s new Charlotte branches might also be smaller than the typical,” full-fledged” PNC branch.
“You would have full-service branches and then maybe some other mini-branches with interactive capabilities so that you can talk to somebody in the mortgage department or talk to a specialist in a particular area,” he said.
March marked the one-year anniversary of PNC’s $3.6 billion purchase of RBC Bank, the Royal Bank of Canada’s U.S. retail banking subsidiary, which operated roughly 400 branches in North Carolina and some other Southeast states. In its Western North Carolina territory, which is headquartered in SouthPark, PNC has 57 branches.
Since the RBC deal, Andress said, one of PNC’s focuses has been building a wealth-management business in Western North Carolina. RBC’s wealth-management operation was not part of the sale.
Also, he said, PNC has been supporting the arts and early childhood-focused programs in the Charlotte area, giving about $500,000 last year to Discovery Place, Community School of the Arts and Bethlehem Center of Charlotte.
“There’s clearly a role for another big bank, and maybe more, to step in and play meaningful roles in the community,” Andress said.
Roberts: 704-358-5248; Twitter: @DeonERoberts
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