DeLand-based Surety Bank will be moving into Pierson Town Hall, taking the place of Branch Banking and Trust, or BB&T, after the North Carolina-based financial institution decided to close down that location.
BB&T had operated its branch in Town Hall for a number of years, with a walk-in office accessible from the Town Hall lobby and three drive-thru lanes and a full-service ATM behind the building. The ATM is still there, but will be removed later this month.
“More and more, our clients are choosing to conduct their banking business digitally both here at BB&T and in the financial industry as a whole,” David White, BB&T’s vice president for corporate communication, wrote in an emailed response for comment. “While branches are still an important part of BB&T’s business model, we’re constantly evaluating all of our locations in terms of client-use patterns and convenience within the markets we serve.”
BB&T customers in the Pierson area are being served by a branch in Ormond Beach. Bank employees in Pierson were transferred to Ormond Beach, too, and none were laid off. In addition, clients can access their accounts through such services as Phone24 (800-226-5228), online banking at BBT.com or the mobile banking platform, U by BB&T, White wrote.
Since BB&T’s lease runs through the end of January, bank officials have prevented anyone else from accessing the space until then.
When BB&T told town officials in August it would be closing in mid-November, Pierson officials started looking for another bank to take the space, said Town Clerk Carmen Spelorzi.
“I believe we talked with two or three others, but apparently there was no interest,” Spelorzi said. “There was talk, and then there wasn’t. Surety stuck it out until the end.”
Surety was contacted in October, said Ryan James, the bank’s president.
“We jumped at the chance,” James said. “We will move into Town Hall as soon as possible.”
Once Surety moves in, the space will have to be modified to suit Surety’s needs. That could take some time, depending on how quickly some contractors — like Spectrum, which supplies fiber-optic service — can implement service, James said.
“We’re hoping that within a couple of weeks we can start offering some services, and be fully up and running by March 1,” he said. “We’re real excited. What I really like is how welcoming the town is. We’ve already had residents opening accounts.”
The Pierson branch will be Surety’s fourth. Surety was founded in DeLand in 1926, and a second branch was added on Mason Avenue in Daytona Beach in the early 1990s. A branch opened in Lake Mary in 2017, and now 2019 will see the newest addition.