BancorpSouth eyes Austin market expansion

Dec 5, 2014
Austin Business Journal

BancorpSouth Inc. has established another office in Central Texas — continuing a local expansion that started earlier this year

As it awaits approval of a larger bank acquisition announced earlier this year, BancorpSouth recently opened a loan production office for its operating subsidiary, BancorpSouth Bank, at 11612 Bee Caves Road to provide financial services

The office is the latest in a series of moves the company is making to position itself to eventually open local retail bank branches, executives confirmed. It also recently opened two loan production offices in the Houston area

In May, BancorpSouth acquired at least one residential mortgage office previously operated by Colonial National Mortgage. The new Austin loan office opened in early October and employs two workers

BancorpSouth now operates three Central Texas offices and has 17 employees

The offices lay the groundwork for a future full-service retail banking branch, Acting Regional President Michael Meyer said

BancorpSouth Bank is a division of BancorpSouth, the Mississippi-based holding company with assets of about $13.1 billion

BancorpSouth entered the Texas market when it acquired First United Bancshares in 2000. It now operates 22 banking offices in Texas with more than $800 million in total deposits. Overall, BancorpSouth Bank operates about 300 office in eight southern states

Meanwhile, BancorpSouth is still waiting for regulatory approval of its $211 million acquisition of the parent company of First State Bank of Central Texas, Central Community Corp

The deal, which was announced in January along with another BancorpSouth acquisition in Louisiana, is being delayed because of federal inquiries into certain BancorpSouth's practices, bank officials said when the company disclosed its second-quarter earnings in July

Ranked by local deposits as of June, First State Bank of Central Texas is the fourth-largest bank headquartered in the Austin area with local deposits of $344.9 million, according to data compiled by the Austin Business Journal. It operates 11 branches and employs 62 workers in Central Texas

Loan production offices enable bank officials to make local business connections and test employee performance before investing for the long term in a full-service branch, said Christopher Williston, CEO of the Austin-based Independent Bankers Association of Texas

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