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Banking & Finance

On Account Of Florence, Bank Branches Close In Wilmington

By Christina Haley O'Neal, posted Sep 13, 2018
The Wells Fargo branch on the corner of 17th Street and Shipyard Boulevard is boarded up and closed because of Hurricane Florence. (Photo by Cece Nunn)
Many Wilmington-area banks closed Thursday as Hurricane Florence, a Category 2 storm, got closer to making landfall.

Wells Fargo closed 47 branches Thursday in Eastern North Carolina in preparation for the arrival of Florence, according to a news release. That involves nine branches in Wilmington, including its downtown location at Third and Grace streets, the bank branch at South 17th Street and Shipyard Boulevard and at Mayfaire Community Center.

“The storm is being closely monitored, and decisions will be made for additional closures as the hurricane progresses,” officials said in the release.

Wells Fargo customers can continue to use ATMs or bank online. "Other branches could close early today as circumstances dictate," officials said in the release.

Wells Fargo customers can check its website for information on specific branch closures and delayed openings.

Wilmington-based Live Oak Bank closed its headquarters office Wednesday because of the hurricane threat. Live Oak Bank officials customers can visit its website to connect with customer service for questions and assistance.

While the physical location is closed, Live Oak continues to be operational.

"Live Oak Bank’s operations are completely cloud-based, so we intend to be operational during the storm. Our employees are able to work remotely so we are able to service our loan customers, and our customer success center will remain open to take calls for deposit customers," Claire Parker, spokeswoman for Live Oak Bank, said in an email. "Our headquarters in Wilmington are closed to ensure the safety of our employees and our teams have deployed outside of the region to provide continued service to our customers."

Officials with Bank of America said Thursday that all its Wilmington branch locations have closed as well.

There is no indication at this time when banks might reopen, said bank spokeswoman Jennifer Darwin, adding, “We will have to see when the evacuation orders are lifted and assess damages to our branches after the storm hits.”

Bank of America ATMs are open and will continue to run as long as there is cash and power to the machines, she said.

BB&T had also closed eight Wilmington locations Thursday.
 
"Many of our eastward branches in the path of the storm either have closed or will be closing to ensure the safety of our clients and associates. All ATMs should be operational provided there is power and connectivity available in the area," BB&T officials said in a Hurricane Florence update on its website.

According to the update, BB&T is suspending certain ATM service charges through Sunday. BB&T's charges related to the use of non-BB&T ATMs will be waived, officials said in the statement.

David White, vice president of corporate communications for BB&T, said a list of BB&T branch closings are available on its website and will be updated twice a day, once in the morning and again in the afternoon, through Saturday and again on Sunday evening.

White said branch openings will be determined after the storm passes and damages are assessed, advising customers to continue to check the bank's webpage for additional details.
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