Lafayette-based IberiaBank, the largest financial institution headquartered in Louisiana, is closing or consolidating 22 branch locations this year, according to a news release.

The branches will close or consolidate during the second and third quarters of 2018, giving the bank 296 locations across the Southeast. The move is part of the bank's "long-term strategy" to improve efficiency, especially as it moves toward digital banking, according to the release.

The closures are on top of consolidations that were part of Iberia's acquisition of Florida's Gibraltar Private Bank and Trust in a $223 million deal that closed earlier this year. Iberia reportedly laid off 124 Gibraltar employees in March, according to The Advocate.

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Since the end of 2014, the Company has opened or acquired 81 branches and closed or consolidated 53 branch locations, excluding those disclosed today.

The new closures are intended to "optimize our branch and ATM network" as part of an ongoing effort to become more efficient, Daryl Byrd, president and CEO of IberiaBank said. "As our clients increasingly use and become more reliant on our digital channels, we continuously review our distribution channels to ensure we are operating efficiently."