Yet another bank is considering adding branches in Charlotte. Here’s what we know

A Georgia-based bank is increasing its presence in Charlotte, and executives said they are considering establishing a branch presence in the area.

United Community Bank announced this week the hiring of two bankers to build a commercial lending team in the city, expanding the small presence the bank already has here. The next step could be opening a United Community branch in Charlotte, executives said.

It’s the latest bank to announce plans to increase operations in Charlotte this year.

In March, JPMorgan Chase said it planned to open its first branches in Charlotte by the end of this year. Then in April, U.S. Bank said it planned to open 10 branches in Charlotte by the end of 2020. Both banks already have other business lines in Charlotte.

United Community executives said the bank has less than 10 employees in Charlotte across approximately five specialty lending areas, including residential home construction. In North Carolina, it has about 30 branches concentrated in the Raleigh and western part of the state.

In its announcement this week, the bank said that Charles Curtis and Thomas McTier will establish the commercial lending team in SouthPark. An address has not been announced.

The bank said Curtis has been hired as Charlotte metro area president. Most recently, he was western regional commercial executive for Cornelius-based Aquesta Bank, according to United Community.

McTier previously worked as senior relationship manager in commercial banking for Regions Bank in Charlotte.

Seeking a strong presence

Jim Rose, North Carolina president for United Community, told the Observer that any bank seeking to be a major player in the state needs a strong presence in Charlotte.

A branch in Charlotte could be next for the company, he said.

United Community would prefer to acquire another bank with existing branches in Charlotte, he said. But if that plan doesn’t work out, the bank would expect to open a branch within a few years, he said. Rose did not disclose potential locations.

United Community is a regional bank with a presence in Georgia, Tennessee and North and South Carolina. It has about a $12.5 billion in assets.

In 2017, it completed an acquisition of Four Oaks Bank, which was based in Johnston County in North Carolina’s Triangle area.

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Deon Roberts has covered Charlotte’s financial services industry for The Charlotte Observer since 2013. His beat includes Bank of America and Wells Fargo. He attended Loyola University in New Orleans and is a native of Lafitte, La.