Regions Bank plans to consolidate three of its Hixson branch offices into a new office and drive-through facility scheduled to open in January on Highway 153.
Regions said it will close its branches on Hixson Pike, Northpoint Boulevard and Highway 153 in early January when it opens a new branch office at 5446 Highway 153 next to the McDonald's restaurant along Highway 153 and Northpoint Boulevard.
"This enables Regions to invest our resources where customers use them most," Jason Allen, Chattanooga market executive for Regions Bank, said a statement about the consolidation of the Hixson branches.
The new office will be "a place to receive more personalized, one-on-one financial guidance" for customers still coming into the bank office, Allen said.
"More personalized service is at the heart of how our new Hixson branch is being built," he said. "The old branches were built around a service model where people would walk in, fill out a deposit slip, wait in a teller line and then conduct a transaction. In our newer branches, there is no waiting in a teller line or filling out pieces of paper before speaking with a banker."
A growing share of bank transactions occur online, and with more digital services banks are limiting the number and changing the focus of their branch networks.
Since Regions Bank entered the Chattanooga market in 2006 by buying the former AmSouth Bank, Regions has already trimmed its branch network in the Chattanooga market from 29 branch offices in 2007 to 18 today. In January, Regions will reduce its branch footprint to 16 offices in the local market.
Over the past 16 years, Regions has increased its bank deposits in the Chattanooga market by more than 30% even as it has cut its branch network by more than a third.
Regions, which now ranks as the fourth biggest bank for total deposits in the Chattanooga market behind First Horizon, Truist and Pinnacle banks, sent notices to customers this week indicating that it will close three branches in the Hixson area Jan. 12 and open its new location by Jan. 16. Customers with safety deposit boxes at one of the bank offices being closed may relocate such security boxes to another Regions bank location, the bank said.
Regions plans to sell the offices it is closing at 3894 Hixson Pike, which has operated as a bank branch since 1962; at 1965 Northpoint Boulevard, which was built in 1995; and at 5570 Highway 153, which has been a Regions branch since 2007.
"We are marketing the buildings for sale," Allen said. "Each building is in a great location, and we've already seen some interest among the sites."
Consumers and businesses use branches differently than in the past with more transactions conducted now over the phone or via internet, Allen said. But the bank is seeking to offer both high-quality digital services and in-person service through its Regions Greenprint program, the executive said.
"Through Greenprint conversations, Regions' bankers help individual and small-business customers create personalized financial plans that offer recommended next steps to reach their financial goals," Allen said. "With our digital services, we're putting the power of the bank in the palm of your hand. With our branches, we're taking a more intentional approach toward tailoring financial options that meet your long-term goals."
Regions, which is owned by the Birmingham, Alabama-based Regional Financial Corp., is one of 29 commercial banks that operate commercial bank offices in metropolitan Chattanooga. While the number of banks in the market has increased in the past couple of years, the number of branch offices has continued to decline as banks trim their branch networks in response to changing consumer banking practices and efforts to trim costs.
From the 2009 peak of 179 bank offices operating in the six-county metropolitan Chattanooga area, the FDIC reported last week the number of bank branches in the Chattanooga market has declined by more than 22% to 139 branch offices as of June 30.
The pruning of bank branches has been even more pronounced across the U.S. From the peak in 2009 of 85,834 bank branches across the United States, the number of branches dropped last year to 71,190, and that number is expected to decline even more this year, according to FDIC reports.