ACROSS MISSISSIPPI — Three banks in Mississippi got millions of dollars from a Federal Reserve short-term loan program aimed at stabilizing financial markets.
The Fed began pumping trillions of dollars into the financial system last year through an array of short-term lending programs. The central bank intensified its efforts after the crisis worsened with the fall of Lehman Brothers in September 2008.
The Fed last week released the data in the form of more than 21,000 transactions. The disclosures are required under the financial overhaul law.
The Clarion-Ledger reports that Tupelo-based BancorpSouth, the largest Mississippi-based bank with assets totaling $13.6 billion, received eight loans ranging from $50 million to $300 million between Dec. 2008 to Aug. 2009.
Jackson-based Trustmark National Bank, with assets totaling $9.4 billion, received a dozen TAF loans ranging from $50 million to $150 million.
Senatobia-based Sycamore Bank, with assets totaling $185 million, received one TAF loan for $5 million.
Regions Bank, based in Birmingham, Ala., with assets totaling $133 billion, participated 23 times from Jan. 2008 to May 2009, borrowing from $1 billion to $8 billion.
The Fed said all loans, which were collaterized, were repaid in full, with interest.
Howard L. McMillan, dean of the Else School of Management at Millsaps College and former president of Deposit Guaranty, said banking customers have no reason to panic.
Trustmark senior vice president and chief investment officer Mitch Bleske said in an e-mail statement the program simply encouraged banks to borrow from the Fed and reinvest into local communities.
Randy Burchfield, BancorpSouth senior vice president and director of marketing, and T. David Dowdle, Sycamore Bank president and CEO, both said the loans had nothing to do with the soundness of the banks, but everything to do with erring on the side of caution.