Consolidation Likely for Arvest Overlap With National Bank Branches

Arvest Bank has made no official announcement of its plans for consolidating the seven branches acquired in the recent purchase of North Little Rock’s National Bank of Arkansas and letters won’t be mailed to customers until Dec. 27, according to John Womack, CEO for the central Arkansas market.

But you can be sure that consolidation is coming to those branches in North Little Rock, Sherwood and Little Rock that, in some cases, are within eyesight of each other.

Womack tells us that Arvest’s branch network in the Little Rock MSA will expand by only two, from 31 to 33. And those additions will be the former NBA branches in Conway, on Dave Ward Drive and Oak Street. Eventually, that NBA branch at 812 Oak St. will likely be consolidated with the existing Arvest branch a couple of blocks away, at 621 Oak — but not till the Arvest branch is renovated, probably in 2015.

Otherwise, look for Arvest to promptly close a branch — we can’t say which — on McCain Boulevard in North Little Rock and on Highway 107 in Sherwood, because both banks currently have branches within spitting distance of each other.

The two banks’ branches serving Maumelle are farther apart, which means the Federal Reserve will require 90 days’ notice to customers when one of them is closed.

We’d put money on Arvest keeping the brand-new branch on Crystal Hill Road that just opened in October.

In west Little Rock, it seems more likely that Arvest would close its drive-through-only branch on West Markham rather than the full-service NBA branch a quarter-mile west at Markham and South Bowman.

That leaves the NBA branch at Main Street and Pershing in North Little Rock. Since it had only $7.8 million in deposits as of June 30, we’re going to guess that it will also be consolidated with an existing Arvest branch. The nearest is in Park Hill.

Womack says Arvest expects to keep 65-70 percent of NBA’s employees. National Bank of Arkansas had 75 employees as of its Sept. 30 call report.