RALEIGH, N.C. (1/8/10)--Coastal FCU announced that it will close a physical branch network in Charlotte, N.C., and an underperforming branch in the Cleveland, N.C., area on Feb. 26. Instead, Raleigh-based Coastal will expand its presence in the Triangle, where Coastal is headquartered and has 15 branches. The Triangle includes Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill. The branches closing are:
* 1835 West W.T. Harris Blvd., Charlotte; * 1605 Galleria Blvd., Charlotte; * 970 Branchview Dr., Concord; and * 5638 NC Highway 42 West, Garner, in the Cleveland area.
While Coastal has had a branch presence in the Charlotte and Triangle markets, most of Coastal’s member and best-performing locations are in the Triangle. Charlotte branches had a smaller membership base, minimal market share and limited branch network, while facing stronger competition from banks and other credit unions, Coastal said. The Cleveland branch has not met performance requirements after five years, and is being combined with Coastal’s nearby White Oak branch. The White Oak location offers extended weekday and Saturday teller hours, Coastal added. The credit union will build upon its Express Teller technology and a new branch strategy to fill gaps in consumer banking coverage in the Triangle market. In 2009, Coastal began upgrading branches to the Express Teller system, which allows tellers in a centralized center in Raleigh to interact with members remotely at branches to conduct transactions. Coastal upgraded 12 branches plus installed a standalone Express Teller unit onsite at the Lenovo campus, and a member services associate to open accounts and make loans. “We actually ended up upgrading three more locations than we had planned to do by the end of 2009, and finished two months ahead of schedule,” said Larry Wilson, Coastal president/CEO. “Because of the Express Teller system, we can now offer extended weekday and Saturday teller hours at 12 locations.” Coastal reiterated previously announced plans to create more branch coverage in the area. It will open several new branches through 2012, and replace or upgrade existing branches to provide extended hours of service. Work is underway at a new Raleigh location, which will replace Coastal's Lynnwood branch later this year. Progress is also being made to upgrade a Durham branch by year-end. Members who use the Charlotte branches are being notified of service alternatives, including Credit Union Service Centers and Coastal's online banking system. The credit union also participates in networks that give members nationwide access to 3,500 shared branches and 50,000 surcharge-free ATMs. Coastal FCU has $2.2 billion in assets.