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Victoria IBC branch in H-E-B Plus to close as part of bank's downsizing

By ALLISON MILES
Sept. 28, 2011 at 4:28 a.m.


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For more information on International Bancshares Corp., visit www.ibc.com.

Crossroads residents will have one less place to bank once an International Bancshares Corp. location closes at the end of the year.

The IBC branch inside Victoria's H-E-B Plus, 6106 N. Navarro St., will close on Dec. 28. The branch joins 54 other in-store locations to close in IBC's plan to align company expenses with reduced revenue, according to a news release.

The move comes in response to new regulations that limit what banks can charge stores for debit card transactions.

Each time a consumer uses a debit card at a store, that store pays a fee to cover the transaction, according to the release. IBC uses those fees to cover free products and other costs.

While other banks cut free offerings and rewards programs to meet the changes, IBC customers made it clear those free services remain important, Dennis Nixon, the company's chairman and CEO, said in the release.

That said, it was necessary to reduce costs.

"Government many times passes regulations that end up hurting the very people they were intended to help," he said in the release. "This appears to be one of those cases."

Many community banks feel the pressure of added regulations, according to information from the American Bankers Association.

Some feel the need to hire additional compliance staff, rather than staff who deal with customers, according to a news release. It also means more money spent on lawyers, reducing resources that could go toward bank customers and the like.

"In the end, it means fewer loans get made, slower job growth and a weaker economy," according to the bankers association release.

IBC's closures will span the next 90 days and eliminate about 500 permanent IBC positions, according to the news release. IBC will still operate 219 branches and more than 375 ATMs.

The IBC branch inside Victoria's other H-E-B location, 1505 E. Rio Grande St., will remain open, said Shelley Parks, H-E-B's regional director of public affairs. Another free-standing location at 6411 N. Navarro St., will also remain open.

The H-E-B Plus branch on Oct. 24 will reduce its hours to 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, Gabriela Carriedo, with IBC marketing and public relations, said in an email. Those hours will remain until the store's December closure.

Parks said she did not know whether H-E-B Plus had plans for the IBC location, but said the company never has trouble filling leased space.

Calls to H-E-B Plus went unreturned Wednesday.

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