The Trader's Bank of Spencer is seeking to jump into Charleston's large, competitive banking market.

The bank plans to open a branch in downtown Charleston within two weeks.

Marshall McNeer, a Traders Bank vice president, says the bank will engage in commercial lending at first, then gradually expand the branch into a full-service facility.

West Virginia Bankers Association chief executive Joe Ellison says Traders Bank is entering a tough market.

Twenty-three banks currently compete in Charleston.

The Trader's Bank says it is entering the market because Charleston is the state's center of economic and government activity.

Traders Bank, founded in 1903, currently has branches in Spencer, Ripley and Mineral Wells and has nearly $91 million dollars in assets.