COVINGTON, Ga. — Truist officials say the banking company did not eliminate any jobs in closing two Newton County branches it owned after it was created from the merger of SunTrust and BB&T.
The company Feb. 18 closed a former BB&T branch on Clark Street on the Covington Square and a former SunTrust branch in the Kroger supermarket on U.S. Hwy. 278. There were “no job losses associated with these consolidations,” said Shelley Miller, spokesperson for Truist Bank. “All teammates are being offered other roles in nearby branches,” Miller said. “Our client relationships have been automatically transferred to a nearby branch where they’ll receive the same attention and client service they’re accustomed to.”
The closures will leave the bank with one branch — a former BB&T location — at 3110 Hwy. 278 in Covington and an ATM next to the Oxford Post Office on Ga. Hwy. 81.
Miller said many former BB&T and SunTrust branches in close proximity to one another presented “natural opportunities to reduce redundant branches with very little impact to our clients. We’re being thoughtful in our approach, and are keeping the needs of our clients at the forefront of our decisions,” Miller said.
The bank recently closed numerous former BB&T and SunTrust throughout Metro Atlanta as part of the new operation.
Branches that closed Feb. 18 were the main Covington BB&T branch at 1134 Clark St SW; and Covington Kroger Branch of SunTrust at 3139 Hwy. 278 NE, Miller said.
“Like many industries, we’re seeing our client preferences and behaviors change as more and more clients choose to bank with us digitally,” Miller said.
“This trend has accelerated even more due to COVID-19. This has caused a gradual effect on client traffic patterns and branch usage. Over time, we’ve also closely tracked past branch closings to see how this might affect our clients. To date, we’ve seen virtually no client attrition through this process.”
BB&T and SunTrust announced a merger to become Truist in 2019. “It’s also important to note that clients have access to their accounts through one of the strongest branch and ATM networks in our markets, telephone banking, and 24-hour delivery channels such as online and mobile banking, which allow them to bank anytime, anywhere,” Miller said.
The Charlotte, North Carolina-based company plans to close some 800 branches by the end of the first quarter of this year — part of its post-merger initiative to cut expenses and address overlaps in its branch network which spreads throughout the Southeast, the Charlotte Observer newspaper reported.