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jb4563

Is Wachovia Behind the Times with Branches?

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I've noticed Bank of America is doing a much better job of opening branches in the faster growing parts of Charlotte. For example, Properity Church Road and Eastfield, Northlake Mall (opening at somepoint), Popular Tent and George Liles in Concord, Dale Earnhardt Blvd in Kannapolis, ATM near Concord Mills, Waxhaw, etc, etc, etc

But, I have seen Wachovia only open one branch (Rocky River and 485) in our area (and before that was a new legacy Wachovia across from the CIC).

What's their deal?

They seem to be missing out by opening branches in fast growing areas that really need them.

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i'll tell you what, not only are they behind in their own hometown, but they are losing out big-time by not expanding into the northeast. i was a wachovia customer for a long time (originally first union), but when i found out i would be moving to massachusetts, i noticed that i hadn't seen any wachovia banks around when i had visited the boston area for a week. i looked up all wachovia locations and found out that they have no branches at all in all of new england.

so i opened an account with bank of america. BOA had just aquired fleet bank which is big in massachusetts, so there are plenty of BOA branches to choose from up here. i know BOA is a couple of notches higher (or is it just one?) than wachovia, but wachovia needs to step up their game.

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i'll tell you what, not only are they behind in their own hometown, but they are losing out big-time by not expanding into the northeast. i was a wachovia customer for a long time (originally first union), but when i found out i would be moving to massachusetts, i noticed that i hadn't seen any wachovia banks around when i had visited the boston area for a week. i looked up all wachovia locations and found out that they have no branches at all in all of new england.

so i opened an account with bank of america. BOA had just aquired fleet bank which is big in massachusetts, so there are plenty of BOA branches to choose from up here. i know BOA is a couple of notches higher (or is it just one?) than wachovia, but wachovia needs to step up their game.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I honestly think Wachovia has been so preoccupied with opening up a myriad of new branches in the NY metro area that they have lost focus on their home area.

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i noticed that they have expanded as far north as connecticut, so maybe they are just moving more gradually up the coast. at any rate, it was a bummer to have to switch banks. i was happy with walk-all-overya.

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this may be somewhat unrelated but IMO Wachovia has much nicer looking branches, does anyone agree with me on this? Speaking of Wachovia branches where growth occurs, there are a great deal of new Wachovia branches by where I currently dwell in the South Side.

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When I moved to MA from NC in April of 2002 there were NO familiar banks up there. I think my choices in north central MA were as follows: Sovereign Bank, Fleet Bank, Bank North (I heard nasty things about them), Barrie Savings bank (had under 5 branches), and Athol Savings Bank (also under 5 branches), I may be forgetting one or 2, I wasn't really into banks lol. So basically I had to drop Wachovia, and went to piddly little Athol Savings Bank, b/c I figured if I hadn't heard of any of the banks before I might as well just get a local bank. I mean the bank didn't even have a 1-800 number on the back of my atm card. Never had any problems with them though. I believe I heard of the Fleet/BOA merger shortly before moving from MA in Oct of '03, but they hadn't switched over yet b4 my move. So now I'm back with Wachovia b/c there's one right down the street from my apt...

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Wachovia has a decemt ATM system through the city and a fairly interactive online banking system, so that eliminates a lot of the functions a branch would serve.

I do wish they'd open more branches though. I became a Wachovia customer a couple years ago through merger and there's no branches in my town. I have to ride 30 minutes to get to my closest location.

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I think Wachovia's branches are fairly nice. I think their logo , as shown below, is very modern. It adds alot to the branches! This really wasn't the photo I was looking for, I was looking for the one with the green, blue, and silver on that stainless steel background.

post-4402-1122436882_thumb.jpg

post-4402-1122436882_thumb.jpg

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I agree about the style of the branches, (although most of the nice looking branches are from old Wachovia rather than old First Union)....

Bank of America has some of the ugliest bank branches around. The providence road/myers park branch is one that quickly comes to mind. Considering it is the branch in one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in charlotte, and is in among some older commercial buildings and mansions, it sticks out like a sore thumb.

I also really dislike the Park Road branch just south of Woodlawn...awful.

the new BofA branch in midtown/kings dr is worlds better than the old white one that was torn down for the greenway, but it is still borderline tacky.

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One way to easily see how much money Wachovia is spending in New York vs Charlotte is to look no further than the Park Avenue branch in Midtown Manhattan. Incredible! Flatscreens, etched glass, polished cherry and mahogany paneling and desks. Then take a walk uptown to the bank's headquarters (One Wachovia). Ceiling tiles that are stained, dirty carpet, and old furniture. Even worse is the Plaza Midwood branch that has no windows, two small Wal-Mart-purchased framed pieces of "art" (of some non-existent grist mill) and filthy carpet. There's not even a new "Wachovia" logo and wordmark on the wall. Scary place...needs to be demolished and started over. The branch doesn't even have a manager.

Looking at BofA, does anyone else think that their use of RED on everything is a bit much? They bank's logo and wordmark used to be set against a silver background, now theyre set against a red background. Did the graphics company that came up with that want to make everyone mad by seeing red...and at a BANK?!

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BofA and Wachovia are moving into new territory in NY state with very entrenched competitors. And the big difference this time is they are doing it the hard way. i.e. they plan to compete instead of doing another "merger of equals" lol. So that is probably why you see the lavish spending up there. We are a captive market here so why bother updating 1970s designed branches?

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I think most of Wachovia's branches are old. And, you are right Dubone the old FU branches are the worst.

Wachovia seems to have a good network of branches in established areas, but they need to catch up with the growth. (Northlake, Concord Mills, Afton Village, Highland Creek, etc)

Wachovia needs to invest lots of money in remodeling these branches that are falling apart. For example, the two University branches that are about .10 mile apart need to be torn down and re built as a more modern, larger branch.

I guess it is trivial...who cares how the bank looks (unless it is falling apart), but I would like to see Wachovia build some branches in places where the growth is going. I mean, Concord Mills is the largest tourist destination in the state, and they don't even have a standalone ATM anywhere near the place.

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Banks don't even own most of their branches anymore. Nowadays, they rent them or sale/leaseback them from large real estate companies. In fact, a REIT (American Financial Realty Trust) was recently created which specializes in taking these oft-ugly branches off the balance sheets of the big banks.

Unfortunately, I'm guessing that this trend will not help branch aesthetics, as publicly traded real estate companies tend to pinch every penny.

.

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Wachovia and BofA are so caught up n themselves with expanding and eating up banks that they forget about their "own" territory....here in North Carolina. wachovia's branches are alright. Some are brick and some are in a house to give it that historical homey feeling. BofA's are pretty crappy if you ask me...just a few around here in winston have that ugly beige colored brick in some of the most wealthiest parts of winston. As my research shows...wachovia currently has 20 ATMs and 11 branches in the Charlotte area and Bank of America has 25 ATMs and 25 branches.

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Wachovia needs to consolidate the leftover twin branches they have at several locations. The redundancy at Crabtree Valley Mall in Raleigh and Friendly Center in Greensboro come to mind.

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Wachovia needs to consolidate the leftover twin branches they have at several locations.  The redundancy at Crabtree Valley Mall in Raleigh and Friendly Center in Greensboro come to mind.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yeah I always wondered why they did that? :blink: Kind of reminds me of a time when I was in Chamblee, GA and driving up Peachtree Rd. and I saw a Kroger and then drove less than .01 of a mile and there was another Kroger! Beats me. :D

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