HBT Financial, Trustmark share plans to close branches

HBT Financial in Bloomington, Ill., and Trustmark in Jackson, Miss., have announced permanent branch closures as customer preferences shift to digital channels.

The $3.9 billion-asset HBT said in a press release Monday that it will close six branches during the third quarter. The moves, which followed a review process, should save HBT about $1.1 million annually.

The company said it will incur $800,000 in one-time expenses, which will largely consist of asset impairment charges and severance payments, tied to the closures.

The closures “will better position our bank for the evolving way that customers access banking services and will drive improved operating efficiencies,” Fred Drake, HBT’s chairman and CEO, said in the release.

“We plan to continue investing in technology to offer our customers a superior experience through our digital banking platform, while maintaining an appropriately sized branch network that will ensure that we continue to offer convenient in-person banking services and have a strong presence in our communities,” Drake added.

The $16.9 billion-asset Trustmark said in a Tuesday press release that it closed seven branches during the first quarter, while opening two locations. The company closed six branches in 2020.

Trustmark plans to close 10 to 13 branches this year, Thomas Owens, the company’s treasurer, said during a Tuesday conference call to discuss quarterly results.

“We are very focused on our branch system and how we serve customers,” Owens said.

“We have a number of markets where we’re doing two-for-ones, where we’re closing two, opening one in a better location to better serve our customers,” Owens added. “We’re are investing in technology … to become more efficient across the core company.”

Several banks have announced plans to close locations during their first-quarter earnings calls.

KeyCorp in Cleveland plans to close about 70 branches, or 7% of its network. Sierra Bancorp in Porterville, Calif., said it would close six branches.

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