Mississippi bank opens Austin-area loan production office

Dec 2, 2014
Austin Business Journal

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

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

"This (loan production office) is, in effect, the initial stage for us," he 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 reporting nearly $1 billion in net loans and more than $800 million in total deposits

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 in the wake of federal inquiries into BancorpSouth's practices

Federal bank regulators discovered issues over BancorpSouth's compliance with the Bank Secrecy Act, while the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is reviewing the bank's fair-lending practices, BancorpSouth officials said when the company released its second-quarter financial statements 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. Founded in 1997, First State operates 31 branches in Texas. In Central Texas, it operates 11 branches and employs 62 workers

It's too early to set a specific time or number of projected Central Texas branches, but Meyer said it's possible the first local BancorpSouth Bank branch could open in mid-2015

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