Bank Watch

A first for PNC: New branch in Charlotte

Until now, all of PNC’s branches in the Charlotte region were acquired by the lender when it bought RBC Bank’s Raleigh-based U.S. business in 2012.
Until now, all of PNC’s branches in the Charlotte region were acquired by the lender when it bought RBC Bank’s Raleigh-based U.S. business in 2012. AP

For the first time since entering the Charlotte market three years ago, PNC Bank is opening a new branch here.

The Pittsburgh-based lender, which has been seeking to increase its brand recognition in Charlotte, tells me the branch will open this fall in Ballantyne, at 5130 Ballantyne Commons Parkway.

“The upcoming branch opening is a sign of our success and continued commitment to the Charlotte area,” said Weston Andress, president of PNC’s Western North Carolina operation, in a statement. “We plan to grow with our community.”

Until now, all of PNC’s branches in the Charlotte region were acquired by the regional lender when it bought RBC Bank’s Raleigh-based U.S. business in 2012. PNC says the branch will be new construction.

The move comes as PNC’s ranking based on deposits in the Charlotte metropolitan area has remained below RBC’s.

According to the latest federal data, PNC is the 12th-largest bank by deposits in the region. That’s below RBC’s seventh-place ranking in 2011.

PNC also has fewer branches in the region than RBC. The Ballantyne branch will be PNC’s 16th branch in the area. RBC had 18 branches in 2011.

PNC’s move also comes as the lender and others nationwide are closing branches as more of their customers are using smartphones and other devices to conduct banking, rather than go into branches.

PNC chief executive William Demchak, speaking at a banking conference in New York in December, said his company will be focused less on closing branches now and more on converting them to PNC’s “universal branch” model.

The Ballantyne branch is part of other steps PNC has been taking to increase its brand recognition in Charlotte’s highly competitive banking industry, where titans Bank of America and Wells Fargo are major players.

In May, PNC opened a 160-square-foot “pop-up” branch in the parking lot between the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture and St. Peter’s Catholic Church.

PNC said the temporary branch, which made stops in Chicago and Atlanta before Charlotte, was being brought to cities that PNC views as “growth” markets but where other banks have more branches and more brand recognition.

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