TANEYTOWN -- A new branch in Columbia would help Taneytown Bank and Trust Co. better serve its commercial customers, bank officials said.
The bank has applied to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. to open its first branch outside Carroll. Officials said they expect to hear next month whether the application has been approved.
The Howard County branch would enable commercial customers to talk face to face with loan officers and customer service representatives, Executive Vice President Frank W. Neubauer Jr. said.
Neubauer was a banker in Howard County for 20 years and was hired by Taneytown Bank in March. He had been a senior vice president in charge of corporate lending at First American Bank of Maryland.
Taneytown Bank also hired a loan officer with experience in Howard; Vice President Michael A. Schonfeld also worked at First American.
Taneytown Bank President Carroll D. Myers said he doesn't want Carroll County customers to think the bank is getting too big.
"I don't want people to think Taneytown Bank is moving into Howard County just to expand," he said.
The new branch is designed to handle demand for loans to commercial customers, Neubauer said. The bank has about 30 commercial customers in the area, he said.
The bank has no plans to expand into the retail banking market in Howard because there's too much competition, Neubauer said.
"There's no name recognition for us there," Myers added.
Two other Carroll County banks serve customers in Howard.
Westminster Bank and Trust Co. has a branch in Woodbine, which straddles the Carroll-Howard line, and Carroll County Bank and Trust Co. has a branch for residents and employees of the Heartlands, a retirement community in Ellicott City.
Taneytown Bank's proposed branch would be 800 square feet in an office complex at 5565 Sterrett Place across from The Mall in Columbia. It would have three full-time employees and offer teller hours from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Neubauer said.
If the FDIC gives its approval by mid-August, the branch could be open by late September, he said.
The bank has six branches -- two in Taneytown, two in Westminster, one in Keymar and one in Uniontown.
Taneytown Bank has upgraded its computer software system to enable employees to access customer account information more efficiently, Myers said.
The system will enable the bank to operate automated teller machines, he said. The bank plans to install machines at the Fairground branch at 500 E. Baltimore St. in Taneytown, the Westminster branch at 402 Englar Road and the Columbia branch.
The bank recently completed an expansion of its headquarters at 222 E. Baltimore St.
The bank has 95 employees and $155 million in assets.