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BancorpSouth puts 2 planned mergers on hold

A downgrade of BancorpSouth’s Community Reinvestment Act rating means two mergers have been tabled for the time being.

BancorpSouth announced in January 2014 its intent to acquire Ouachita Bancshares Corp. of West Monroe, Louisiana, and Central Community Corp. of Temple, Texas. The merger agreements were valued at a combined $325 million in stock and cash at the time.

The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reports (http://bit.ly/2buS30Y) the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. notified BancorpSouth Thursday that it was lowering its CRA rating from “satisfactory” to “needs to improve.”

The bank says it’s unlikely to have the mergers approved until its CRA rating returns to “satisfactory.”

The Community Reinvestment Act is intended to encourage financial institutions to help meet the credit needs of the communities in which they operate, including low- and moderate-income neighborhoods.

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