GREENSBORO, N.C. (1/26/09)--Coastal FCU announced Thursday that it will close four underperforming branches in the first quarter, reducing its branch count to 18, said the North Carolina Credit Union League. However, the credit union plans to open up to five new branches early next year (Weekly Update Jan. 22). The branches could go in Brier Creek, Eastern Wake, Chapel Hill, Holly Springs or downtown Raleigh and Durham. “The majority of our newest locations are doing well, and overall, we’re coming off of a successful year,” said Coastal President/CEO Larry Wilson. “We added 18,000 members and grew our assets by $261 million, or 14%, in 2008.” The branches closing are located in Sanford, Southern Pines, Clayton and the North Pointe Shopping Center in Durham. Employees at closing locations can apply for other open positions within the credit union. “We have a number of positions available, particularly in branch operations and in our growing business services department,” Wilson said. “Also, as we look to open new branches within the Triangle, we’ll need experienced employees to staff them.” Coastal plans to keep full-service ATMs at each of its branch locations. The credit union will dedicate more resources to develop its Express Branch format by converting existing branches and opening new ones with Express Teller technology. The Express Teller system, which debuted at two branches at the end of last year, will allow Coastal to increase branches and hours of operation. Up to eight locations could have the technology in place by the end of the year, the credit union said. Coastal FCU has $2.019 billion in assets.