HUNTINGTON - United Bank's move to downtown Huntington was celebrated Thursday by company officials and others with a grand opening and a ribbon-cutting with the Huntington Regional Chamber of Commerce. United Bank had announced in July it was opening a new office in the the first floor of 517 9th St. in the tall structure that has gone by various names previously, including the Robson Prichard Building, the Chafin Building, the Guaranty Bank Building and the First Sentry Bank Building. For a while, it housed the downtown branch of Fifth Third Bank.

The structure will now be known as the United Bank Building in accordance with a 10-year lease that includes the renaming of the building, company officials said. The move means United Bank has relocated its Westmoreland branch to the new downtown location.

Besides the ribbon-cutting at Thursday's event, the bank offered tours, a chance to meet the staff there, and refreshments. The branch has about 25 people working there.

United Bank is a subsidiary of United Bankshares Inc., the largest publicly traded company headquartered in West Virginia with 139 full-service banking locations and 17 loan origination offices throughout West Virginia, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

The bank originated from a small bank in Parkersburg, West Virginia, in 1839, bank officials said. Now headquartered in Charleston, it has grown to a $19 billion company, according to Allison Scott, marketing specialist for United Bank.

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