MANATEE -- Even as some national and local banks open new branch offices in Manatee and Sarasota counties, a national banking institution could be closing some soon.
Cincinnati-based Fifth Third Bank has announced it will consolidate or sell 100 branches and 30 other properties purchased for branch expansion.
The move, the company states, is a cost-cutting measure estimated to save Fifth Third about $60 million in annual operating expenses.
The bank operates 16 branch offices in Manatee and Sarasota counties, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Bank officials are not yet saying whether any of these branches will be affected.
"We are not at the point yet where we can share specific information about which branches will close," said Larry Magnesia, a spokesman for the bank.
Fifth Third has the fifth-largest market share in the two-county area. Its approximately $787 million in deposits represent about 4.6 percent of the banking business in the counties, according to FDIC statistics. It operates 170 branches in Florida and more than 1,300 branches across 12 states.
Online banking in particular is reducing the bank's dependence on branch locations.
"Consumer demographics and our customers' pre
ferred channels of banking are undergoing significant changes," Kevin T. Karat, vice chairman and chief executive officer of Fifth Third Bancorp, stated in a news release. "Technology continues to impact our service delivery and revenue generation tactics and strategies."
Some other banks in Manatee and Sarasota counties are investing in new branches even as Fifth Third pursues a downsize. In downtown Bradenton, BB&T Bank is remodeling a former Priority Bank building to give itself a bigger footprint in the center of town. Last year, Chase Bank built a branch at Beachway Plaza in Northwest Bradenton, and St. Petersburg-based C1 Bank opened its first downtown Sarasota branch.
Matt M. Johnson, Herald business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7027, or on Twitter @MattAtBradenton.