First Bank, the largest community bank based in North Carolina, has opened its first full-service branch in Raleigh.
The office at 3110 Edwards Mill Road started out as a loan production office in November but was upgraded as of Monday to offer a wide range of bank services, incluing signing up for checking accounts and credit cards.
First Bank, which is headquartered in Southern Pines, has two other full-service branches in Wake County: at 402 East Williams St. in Apex and at 135 North Main Street in Fuquay-Varina.
Rob Patterson, western regional president for First Bank, said the bank expects to add other branches in the Triangle but doesn’t have definite plans yet.
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“We know we need more (Triangle branches) than we have, but we’re not sure what that sweet spot is,” Patterson said. “We’re actually going to use our Raleigh team to help us make that decision. They know the market better than anybody else and they’re in a great position to advise us on when and where and how many.”
Overall, First Bank has a total of 89 branches across the state plus six in South Carolina.
Many banks are consolidating their branches as customers gravitate more and more to online and mobile banking, but First Bank has opened eight new branches in North Carolina in the past year. First Bank also recently completed its acquisition of the parent company of Carolina Bank, which has eight branches and three mortgage loan offices in the Triad.