TUPELO — BancorpSouth Inc. has launched a branch optimization plan, which includes the planned closing or consolidation, upon final regulatory approval, of 23 bank branches located in six states of BancorpSouth’s eight-state footprint.
The branches are located in Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas.
The planned closings and consolidations are a result of a comprehensive internal study that, among a range of activities, measured branch performance by comparing financial and non-financial indicators to growth opportunities. The volume of business conducted at these locations has been limited, and there has not been sustained growth sufficient to support the normal and routine expenses required to continue operating the branches designated for closure or consolidation. Other considerations in the company’s decision to close the branches included the bank’s ability to continue serving clients’ financial needs at nearby BancorpSouth locations.
Management believes this initiative is an important first step to streamline BancorpSouth’s branch banking operations, and to provide enhanced efficiency and production capabilities, with minimal impact to customer and community service. Once fully implemented, management expects annual expense savings of approximately $4.4 million. These savings will begin to be realized during the fourth quarter of 2011.
BancorpSouth chairman and CEO, Aubrey Patterson said, “In the last five years, our bank has opened 39 new full-service branches. We have also gained branch banking locations through years of regional merger and acquisition activity. This growth, along with ever-changing market dynamics, created the need to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of BancorpSouth’s branch delivery system across our eight-state footprint. The resulting branch consolidation and closure plan will help ensure that we are utilizing an efficient and productive branch delivery platform, without detracting from the service and access we provide our clients and communities.”
BancorpSouth said it plans to provide affected customers with details of the closings, along with information regarding other BancorpSouth offices conveniently located to serve them. The closings will take place on a schedule beginning in August.