NationsBank plans to shut 8 area branches

March 12, 1994|By David Conn | David Conn,Sun Staff Writer

NationsBank Corp., which has kept mum about its branch closing plans, inadvertently let some information slip when it filed notice with federal regulators of its intention to close seven Maryland branches.

A weekly bulletin issued by the federal Office of the Comptroller of the Currency lists NationsBank's advance notice that it will close branches in the Baltimore area, the Eastern Shore and the Washington area. Those branches will close no sooner than 90 days from now, probably closer to 120 days, NationsBank spokesman Daniel Finney said.

One other Maryland branch was named in a similar bulletin a few weeks ago, bringing to eight the locations identified so far.

The company announced last fall that 1,200 jobs would be cut because of the merger but held off on saying anything about branch closings.

"We changed our approach from initially envisioning that we would lay it out all at once in the mass media, to making a conscious effort to communicate directly with each and every customer and [NationsBank] associate first," Mr. Finney said. The goal, he said, is "to prevent customer confusion and prevent misuse of the information by our competitors."

The company still won't say how many branches will be closed by the end of the year, the planned date for completing the merger between NationsBank and the former MNC Financial Inc., the parent of American Security and Maryland National banks.

Mr. Finney did say that "under no circumstances will NationsBank exit any market, or even any submarket, as a result of branches that are closed in this yearlong consolidation process." Branches within a submarket, he said, are no more than a mile or two apart.

When all branches are closed, "in the neighborhood of 200" job positions will be affected, according to Mr. Finney. But he said "well in excess" of that many positions are available now at branches near the ones due to be closed.

Of the latest seven branches to be closed, six are Maryland National branches and one is a NationsBank branch. They are located in Hunt Valley, Pikesville, Arbutus, Cambridge, Salisbury, Kensington, and Washington, D.C.

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