Bank of America selling 13 branches in South Carolina, Georgia

Charlotte-based Bank of America is selling 13 branches in South Carolina and Georgia.
Charlotte-based Bank of America is selling 13 branches in South Carolina and Georgia. AP

A Columbia, S.C.-based bank is buying 12 branches in South Carolina and one in Georgia from Charlotte-based Bank of America, which continues to shrink its branch network.

South State Corp., which has branches in the Charlotte area, said the purchase will give it entry in six new markets and expand its presence in three other areas. The branch locations stretch from Florence, S.C., to Hartwell, Ga.

South State said it expects to assume $580 million in deposits and purchase about $3 million in loans in the deal. The bank plans to hire all current employees at the acquired branches.

Pending regulatory approval, the acquisition is expected to close in the third quarter.

Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan has been closing and selling branches as the bank looks to cut costs and adapt to customers who increasingly use mobile phones to conduct banking transactions. As of March 31, the nation’s No. 2 bank by assets had 4,835 branches nationwide, down 260 from a year ago.

“This is part of an initiative that is under way to adapt our overall financial center network to fit customers’ changing needs and habits,” bank spokeswoman Anne Pace said.

Selling the branches, rather than closing them, maintains jobs and allows customers to keep banking at the same location, Pace said.

As of June 30, Bank of America had 98 branches in South Carolina with $9.6 billion in deposits, according to Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. data. That made it the second-biggest bank in the state, with 13.7 percent market share, trailing Wells Fargo’s 19.8 percent.

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