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PNC to run Giant Food bank branches

The Baltimore Sun

PNC Financial Services Group Inc. said yesterday that it will take over the banking services from Chevy Chase Bank at Giant Food stores in Maryland, Virginia, Delaware and Washington.

Financial terms of the 10-year agreement with Landover-based Giant were not released. Giant had been seeking a new operator for its 54 in-store branches after its contract with Chevy Chase expired this summer.

PNC said the bank expects to hire 225 employees to staff 41 in-store branches - 21 in Maryland, 17 in Virginia and three in Delaware - in the first phase of the expansion.

The transition is expected to begin immediately, and the first batch of PNC in-store branches will open in January. The branches will offer checking and savings accounts, loans, mortgages and investments.

"It's going to offer our clients an awful lot of added convenience in the market," said Peter Floeckher, PNC's Maryland regional president. "New jobs are coming to PNC in Maryland. So it's a great place to be in a troubled time in our industry when we're actively growing this market," Floeckher added.

PNC's news comes on the heels of Baltimore's Provident Bankshares Corp. acquiring $42 million in deposits from seven Chevy Chase Bank grocery branches in the Baltimore area that are set to close in January.

Provident Bank said it's also looking to expand its market share despite turbulence in the financial services industry.

PNC's agreement with Giant Food also calls for the bank to add 180 new ATMs in Giant stores across the greater Maryland region, Virginia, Delaware and Washington in 2009. PNC also plans to add more in-store branches and ATMs at the grocery stores in the next 10 years.

Giant Food stores has offered in-store banking services since 1998 when it began its relationship with Chevy Chase, said grocery chain spokesman Jamie Miller.

"Many Giant customers have come to appreciate the convenience of full-service, in-store banking," Robin Michel, Giant Food's executive vice president and general manager, said in a statement.

PNC already operates in-store branches at three Giant stores in Delaware as well as numerous locations at Giant's affiliated supermarket chain Stop & Shop in New Jersey.

PNC acquired Baltimore's Mercantile Bankshares Corp. in 2006. It is now the second-largest bank in Maryland as measured by deposits, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

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