FIRST COMMONWEALTH BANK SIGN

Observer-Reporter

First Commonwealth Bank will close a number of branches by the end of the year.

The Indiana, Pa.-based company unveiled that plan Tuesday afternoon in its second-quarter earnings release. First Commonwealth referred to the consolidation as “a targeted 20% reduction in retail locations,” without listing them.

First Commonwealth operates 147 community banking offices, meaning about 30 will be cut by Dec. 31. Company spokesman Jonathan Longwill said a list of branch closures will be finalized next week.

The company has branches in 28 counties in Western and central Pennsylvania and Ohio. One is in Bridgeville and three are in Washington County: McDonald, Peters Township and South Strabane Township.

This consolidation is being implemented in tandem with a corporate growth initiative called “Project THRIVE.” T. Michael Price, president and chief executive officer, said “the express goal” of these actions is “emerging on the other side of this (coronavirus) crisis stronger than ever.”

He added: “Our performance in the second quarter is a reminder of the importance we play as a financial services organization and partner in the communities we serve. We assisted nearly 5,000 businesses secure over $600 million in (Paycheck Protection Program) loans, which impacted approximately 80,000 jobs. At the same time, we originated a record $203 million in consumer mortgages in the quarter that helped roughly 800 customers finance a home.”

First Commonwealth reported its second-quarter net income as $23.9 million ($0.24 per share), down from $27.3 million ($0.28) during the second quarter of 2019.

Business Writer

Rick Shrum joined the Observer-Reporter as a reporter in 2012, after serving as a section editor, sports reporter and copy editor at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Rick has won eight individual writing awards, including two Golden Quills.

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