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Report: BancorpSouth offering early retirements

Arkansas Business is reporting today that Tupelo-based regional banking company BancorpSouth Inc. is asking for voluntary early retirements for some of its workers.

The article says the Tupelo-based financial holding company and parent of BancorpSouth Bank is making the offers to those 60 and over and with 10 consecutive years of experience with the company.

Arkansas Business also quoted a BancorpSouth spokesman who confirmed a memo had been sent “internally” to offer the early retirement packages that the company thinks will “improve the bank’s efficiency and reduce costs.”

Details are scant at this point, and the spokesman said BancorpSouth didn’t want to speculate on how many people might accept the offer.

BancorpSouth operates 270 branches in eight states and employs more than 4,200, companywide.

The reported staff reductions would be consistent with predictions by analysts just before veteran Houston banker James “Dan” Rollins took over as CEO in November.

As COO at Houston’s Prosperity Bank, Rollins became known as an expense-hawk who slimmed down operating costs to help the bank become Houston’s largest home-grown bank holding company. He took the bank from $7 billion in assets in 2007 to $13.7 billion by the third quarter of 2012, analysts said.

They speculated that Rollins’ hiring at BancorpSouth signaled the Mississippi banking company wanted “tightfisted expense control” and an increased focus on profits.

BancorpSouth earlier reported net income of $20.8 million, or $0.22 per share, for the first quarter of 2013.



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