Citigroup has agreed to sell 41 retail branches in Texas to BB&T Corp. as the lender pares its consumer-banking business.
The locations include about 18 in Dallas-Fort Worth, including sites in Arlington, Bedford, Grapevine and Southlake, plus others in Houston, Midland and Odessa. The sale to the North Carolina-based lender is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2015.
“Our branch footprint in Texas did not provide the scale to capture future growth and market share in traditional retail banking,” Citigroup spokesman Andrew Brent said in a statement. “We see the retail banking industry rapidly evolving beyond a purely branch-based model, and so we will dedicate our resources and investments on a more focused branch footprint in our major urban markets and on expanding our digital channels nationally.”
BB&T, which moved into Texas with its 2009 purchase of the failing Alabama-based Colonial BancGroup, is seeking to make more acquisitions in the state, Chief Executive Officer Kelly King said.
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“We are talking to our friends in Texas, and if the time is right when one is interested in combining with us and it’s a reasonable price, we’d be interested,” King, 65, said in a phone interview.
“But no one should assume we won’t achieve our goals without a whole bank acquisition. Between organic growth and nonwhole bank acquisitions, we can accomplish our goals.”
Regional lenders including BB&T, U.S. Bancorp and Huntington Bancshares are scooping up pieces of rivals as some of the industry’s largest lenders, including Citigroup and Bank of America, exit regions and lines of business. Citigroup is selling its Texas branches as CEO Michael Corbat narrows the New York-based firm’s focus to businesses with higher growth potential.
BB&T will have about 123 branches and $5.3 billion worth of deposits in the state after the new acquisition is complete, the firm said.
“I certainly expect within the next five to 10 years, we’ll be a $15 billion institution in the great state of Texas,” King said. “If we are fortunate to combine with other Texas operations, it will be faster. We’ll be methodically trying to pursue both of these options.”