Street view of a HomeTrust Bank branch in Danville.

DANVILLE, Va. — Last Tuesday, HomeTrust Bancshares Inc. announced the closing of nine out of the 42 branches in North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia, including all of its Danville branches.

The bank’s move to close these nine branches is part of a Profitability Improvement Plan created to streamline bank expenditures and sustain internal funding.

Branch closures are to be implemented by September of this year. Those that have lost their jobs due to the branch closures account for $1.5 million in bank expenditures. The bank’s pre-tax income may rise by $10.1 million dollars as well as expense reductions totaling $3.2 million dollars.

The availability of these new funds will help pay off $275 million dollars in long term borrowings, completing a general debt of $475 million dollars from long term borrowing. 

“We believe these strategic initiatives, along with the continued maturity of our diversified lines of business, will move us forward in achieving higher profitability and creating additional shareholder value in the near term,” said Dana Stonestreet, chairman, president and CEO.

From what is proposed form the Profitability Improvement Plan, it seems that Stonestreet is correct. While Danvillians go about seeking new employment, HomeTrust Bancshares Inc. will be more profitable and better able to improve shareholder value.

From a civilian perspective, this does not seem to fall in line with the what banks values as said on their website: “our core values include personal responsibility, ethical behavior, trust and integrity, teamwork and caring.” 

An anonymous source related to the banks told that one of the money saving measures made has been to replace in-person banking with remote banking. “People are simply more expensive than a computer,” said the source.

After the Danville HomeTrust branch closes, the closest in person branch will be in Eden, North Carolina, leaving Danville residents that bank with HomeTrust the option to be content with remote banking or driving 45 minutes to Eden to speak to someone in person.

We hope that those that have been affected by HomeTrust’s decision will be able to find new work quickly and get back on their feet. It will, no doubt, be hard for these folks. Danvillians are resilient and able to face the future head-on.

Staff Writer

Tom Dixon is a staff writer for the Star-Tribune. Tom graduated from Longwood University and is a Chatham native.

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