BB&T closes Brundidge office

Published 11:00 pm Thursday, September 12, 2013

Clients of BB&T in Brundidge received notification letters this week stating that, as of Oct. 1, BB&T will close the lobby at the Brundidge facility on North Main Street. The bank’s drive through will remain open.

The decision is not playing well among many of the bank’s clients.

Sherroll Tatom retired from Brundidge Banking Company after 35 years. He saw the bank’s total assets grow from less then $2 million to more than $60 million during his tenure.

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“Brundidge Banking Company was a good, strong bank and, if it had remained an independent bank, it would be a good strong bank today,” Tatom said. “But hindsight is always better.”

Tatom said the closing of the lobby of BB&T in Brundidge is a “slap in the face to Brundidge.”

“I don’t think the majority of the customers will accept this,” he said. “We all want a bank that we can walk into and discuss business. My heart goes out to the people who put their lives into this bank. The way I see it, they might as well close the whole thing.”

Lawrence Bowden, a longtime client of the Brundidge banking facility, said he views the closing of the lobby as a prelude to closing the bank.

“I’m very disappointed that BB&T would do this,” Bowden said. “No matter what the name on the sign says, the bank was and still is the Brundidge bank. Brundidge Banking Company was formed in 1900 and has been a part of the Brundidge community for 113 years. The name has changed but it has always remained the Brundidge bank.”

Bowden said that he, like many bank customers, like a bank where they can walk in and do business with friends and neighbors.

“I don’t want to have to go to Troy to get into my safe deposit box,” he said. “And, I’m not. I’ve already rented a safe deposit box at First National Bank of Brundidge. I’m looking forward now to doing my business with First National Bank. They are good people.”

Bowden, laughingly, said that BB&T certainly won’t miss his business.

“But my loyalty was not to BB&T,” he said. “It was to the memory of the bank that has always been here. This is a sad day for Brundidge.”

David R. White, BB&T vice president of corporate communications, said BB&T recognizes that any business closing, even a lobby, can be an emotional issue for a community.

“For that reason, we do not take this kind of decision lightly,” White said. “We have implemented a rigorous process whereby we continually review and evaluate the viability, convenience and physical conditions, among other factors, of our financial centers.

“For several years, BB&T has reviewed the business strength of our financial center in Brundidge. Based on many factors, including client usage patterns, the decision was made to close the lobby, but maintain the drive through and ATM services.”

“Our Brundidge clients can still take advantage of a number of other convenient services including: Phone24, online banking at or via the BB&T Mobile App.

“In addition, the Troy financial center is approximately 10 minutes from the Brundidge branch and we look forward to continuing to serve our clients there.”