BB&T branches in Tennessee:
3 in Chattanooga
1 in Ooltewah
8 in Cleveland
59 total branches in state
Total deposits in Tennessee: $2.5 billion
Total deposits: $85.6 billion
Total offices: 1,491
Number of States: 12
While many other banks are contracting, North Carolina-based BB&T bank is growing and could add another branch here late next year, according to Martha S. “Missy” Wallen, the bank’s state president.
“Chattanooga is a market in which we have placed our focus for growth,” said Mrs. Wallen, who in Knoxville is responsible for 72 offices and almost 1,000 people in Tennessee and parts of Georgia, Virginia and North Carolina.
BB&T officials have their eye on properties in Hixson where they could open a branch, she said. Because of the current economic conditions, they will move cautiously.
The bank recently opened a branch at Hamilton Place and on Dec. 3, the bank will celebrate the grand opening of a new facility at 9238 Lee Highway in Ooltewah. That new facility will replace its previous location about a block away.
BB&T Corp., based in Winston-Salem, N.C., is set to receive an infusion of $3.1 billion through the federal government’s Troubled Asset Recovery Program. Bank officials are analyzing what best to do with those funds to get the best return. When the first nine banks were issued $125 billion, the precedent was set that if a bank is healthy, it could apply and receive funds from TARP, Mrs. Wallen said.
“(TARP funds) could give us additional ability to look at opportunities in this environment to help the economy get started again,” she said. “We certainly have great performance relative to our peers, so we wanted to say, ‘We’re one of the healthiest banks, we can get this money.’”
George Korda with Korda Communications traveled with Mrs. Wallen from Knoxville. He said that despite reports that credit is tight in the banking industry, BB&T is extending credit and is on a path for good growth.
The bank had 20 percent loan growth from 2007 to 2008 in the local market and 33 percent deposit growth, Mrs. Wallen said.
“In this challenging economy that is certainly, I think impressive, and speaks very well of Chattanooga and how important this market is for us,” she said. “If we’ve had this kind of growth in the last year, what can we expect, particularly with Volkswagen coming into the market, in 2009 and 2010?”
Tennessee has fared well compared to other markets where BB&T has a presence, including Atlanta; Orlando, Fla.; and Washington, D.C., because the economy here has avoided the extreme highs and lows in housing values of other cities, she said.
Mrs. Wallen said she had not yet decided how successful she expects a second federal stimulus package would be.
“I don’t think the first stimulus package did a lot to get things moving,” she said.