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CBBC branch closing May 2

The Citizen’s Bank of Blount County branch in front of Kroger off Kingston Pike will close May 2.

“Quite honestly, [we’re closing the branch] because it’s outdated, the facility is,” said Joe Bruce, president of CBBC. “It was just a matter of really the fact that we just didn’t look like a traditional bank.”

CBBC opened the branch in 1996. “At that time, it wasn’t near as outdated as it is now, let’s just say that,” Bruce said. CBBC subleases the property, which is owned by the Biddle family, from a group in Clarksville. The building once housed a Valley Fidelity branch and a First Tennessee branch.

In 2004, CBBC began a process of remodeling their older branches. “Back in 2004, when we were going through this process, we got our contractor and our architect and got them to design the facility so it would be compatible with our other location,” Bruce said.

All of CBBC’s other branch locations were designed to look like the main branch in Maryville, which is housed in a white building with a maroon metal roof.

“But when we actually sent the plans to the folks we sublease from, they would not agree with what we wanted to do. So the Biddles, who own the land, they didn’t have to, but they approved it. They thought it’d be great,” Bruce said.

However, the Clarksville group would not agree to the changes.

“Our lease is on a five year option, and it runs out July 31 of this year. And our customer count had stabilized for the last four years. We weren’t having any growth. So we made the choice then,” he added.

CBBC is a locally owned bank, but Bruce said he feels they have no problem competing with other national or statewide banks. “No, it wasn’t a matter of competing. That [Farragut location] had been a good place for us. But with all the banks down there being modernized and primarily new facilities, it became a competitive disadvantage. People like to come into a facility that looks good and looks attractive,” he said.

“We have been looking for other locations in Farragut, but we haven’t found one as of yet,” Bruce said. “We may eventually be back down there, but for this particular time, we’re going to go ahead and close it.

“Farragut is a good market, and in all probability we’ll be back there,” he added.

Bruce stressed that no employee of the Farragut branch would lose his or her job. “We’ve got a lot of stability and continuity in the nine-member senior group. We have never laid off anybody in 34-and-a-half years and we will not do that,” he said.

Some of the employees will be shifted to one of two new locations being built in Maryville; others will be moved to the Peters Road location or the Chapman Highway location.

CBBC will celebrate its 35th anniversary in September. The bank currently has three branches open in Knoxville, eight in Blount County and one in Monroe County. The May 2 closing will lower the number of Knoxville locations to two.


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