2011 Year in Review – Banks in region expand, open and close branches

By Dennis Seid | NEMS Daily Journal

Two of Mississippi’s largest banks call Tupelo home, and both made waves.
• Renasant Bank expanded several times, most recently in August, when it announced it was moving into the Tuscaloosa, Ala., market. A month earlier, it entered the Montgomery market, just days after announcing it had agreed to acquire RBC Bank (USA)’s Birmingham-based $600 million asset trust division.
Earlier in the year, Renasant acquired the former American Trust Bank in Roswell, Ga., adding three branches in north Georgia. Renasant also completed its conversion of Crescent Bank & Trust of Jasper, Ga., which it acquired in the third quarter of 2010.
Renasant also expanded in Mississippi, opening offices in Starkville and Columbus.
• In May, BancorpSouth announced a “branch optimization plan” that it said would improve efficiency and increase profits. In all, 23 offices in six states were closed, including eight in Mississippi. In Northeast Mississippi, the list included branches in Houlka, Ecru and Hamilton and two locations in Tupelo.
BancorpSouth Chairman and CEO Aubrey Patterson noted at the time that BancorpSouth had added 39 new full-service branches in the past five years and had grown through several mergers and acquisitions.
• First M&F, based in Kosciusko, also announced it was closing five branches, including one in Tupelo and in Oxford.
• First American National Bank, based in Iuka, opened in the former AmSouth bank office in downtown Tupelo.
• Cadence Bank, based in Starkville, was acquired by Community Bancorp, or CBC, of Houston, Texas, in March.
In November, CBC said it was merging Cadence with Alabama-based Superior Bank – a bank CBC acquired in April.
CBC said after merging Cadence and Superior, the new bank would be called Cadence Bank, with combined assets of nearly $4.1 billion, nearly 1,200 employees and more than 100 banking locations. Community Bancorp was renamed Cadence Bancorp, with headquarters in Birmingham and offices in Starkville and Houston.