PNC Financial Services Group, the Pittsburgh-based company that owns and runs the nation’s sixth largest bank, plans to open a few branches in the Twin Cities after all.

PNC entered the market quietly this year without branches that tend to catch the eye of possible customers.

Instead, the company selected a veteran of the Minnesota banking scene, Kate Kelly, to lead a small number of bankers who focus chiefly on corporate customers. In a visit to Minneapolis last month, PNC Chief Executive Bill Demchak said the company no longer needed to rely on acquiring existing banks with an established branch presence to enter new territory.

On Tuesday, Demchak told investment analysts at a Goldman Sachs conference that PNC will launch a national digital bank aimed at individual customers. As part of that effort, the company will open “a handful” of branches in Minneapolis-St. Paul and two other markets it recently entered, Kansas City and Dallas-Fort Worth, Demchak said.

A PNC spokesman confirmed the plan. He said executives haven’t set a timetable or number of branches for the Twin Cities and other areas.

Demchak told analysts at the Goldman Sachs conference that he and other PNC executives still believe the company can expand across the country to reach a national footprint organically, or without having to do a major acquisition. “It’s extremely unlikely you’ll see us buy a traditional bank,” Demchak said. “The returns are much higher through the digital channel.”