LAFAYETTE, La. — The largest financial institution headquartered in Louisiana says it's closing or consolidating 22 branch locations this year.

News outlets reported Monday that Lafayette-based IberiaBank will have less than 300 locations across the southeastern U.S. following the closure or consolidation at the branches during the second and third quarters of 2018.

IberiaBank Corp. said in a statement that the move is part of its strategy to improve efficiency, especially as it progresses toward digital banking.

IberiaBank President and CEO Daryl Byrd says the new closures are intended to optimize the bank's branch and ATM network. He says IberiaBank's clients increasingly use and become more reliant on its digital channels.

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