Bank under construction

Crews build a branch for Summit Community Bank in Christiansburg on May 26.

A West Virginia bank that has lent money in the New River Valley for years plans to open a full-service branch in Christiansburg on Aug. 1.

Summit Community Bank won’t be a new banking brand for everyone in the New River Valley, because some people will be familiar with its loan office near Christiansburg High School. That’s been around for about 10 years and was started by First Century Bank. Summit bought First Century in 2017.

For the branch, Summit is building a new structure nearby beside North Franklin Street. It will cost $1.48 million to construct and have entrances from each of two side streets, but not Franklin, said Jerry Heinline, the town’s building official.

Summit’s loan office has $30 million in outstanding loans, a basis, company executives decided, to upgrade to a branch. Summit wants to be able to take deposits to carry out its growth plan for the market, according to Frank Wilkinson, regional president of the bank.

The new branch means a few new jobs. The company plans to close the loan center, which employs two people, when it opens the branch, which will employ eight people, Wilkinson said.

The branch will be like other bank branches in many ways but will also have an interactive ATM, or Interactive Teller Machine, on which customers will be able to converse with a bank representative by audio and video link 24 hours a day, Wilkinson said.

Summit’s parent company has $2.4 billion in assets and 40 locations. The nearest branch to Christiansburg is in Wytheville. Roanoke is also a market the company may examine in the future, Wilkinson said.

There were 14 banks serving the Blacksburg-Christiansburg metro area as of a year ago, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Jeff Sturgeon covers business, banking, transportation and federal court. Phone: (540) 981-3251. Email: jeff.sturgeon@roanoke.com. Mail: 201 W. Campbell Ave., Roanoke, VA 24011.

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