September 24, 2010 8:06:00 AM
The pending sale of Starkville-based Cadence Bank to Trustmark National Bank could lead to the consolidation of local branches and staff, but a decision on those changes won''t be made until the sale is finalized early next year, a Trustmark bank executive said Thursday.
Trustmark will spend the next six months studying Cadence and Trustmark branch locations, including those in Memphis and Columbus, where both banks maintain a strong presence, Trustmark Director Jerry Host said. In downtown Columbus, Trustmark and Cadence branch locations are located across the street from each other.
"What we''ve got is a situation where we have to take the time to evaluate both markets," Host said, and added the branches in Memphis complement each other due to their locations between downtown and Germantown. "As far as Columbus goes, we''ll look at all locations and figure out what the best configuration will be there. You know we have two downtown locations. It would be inefficient to have both buildings. We''ll be looking at both buildings, at the functionality of those and where the branches overlap."
"We''ll also look at customer flows for each branch and determine which one is in the best location for business," he added. "There could be some consolidation that takes place."
Cadence bank executives and employees could be repositioned within the new company, Host said.
"But certainly there are positions that will go away," he said.
Trustmark and Cadence officials are working on a joint statement to send to customers which will give them an idea of what to expect in the transition.
"They shouldn''t expect a change in the level of customer service," Host said. "Cadence has been somewhat restricted because of their capital position as far as new loan growth, but Trustmark brings a strong capital base and a bigger allowance for the size of loans that can support both small businesses and large businesses."
Outside of the Cadence Bank''s downtown Starkville branch Thursday, customer John Crecink said he didn''t know a lot about the sale, but hopes it will be for the best.
"I''m hoping that it will be a good deal for the shareholders, but who knows," Crecink said.
Another Cadence customer in Starkville, Henry Parks, said he hopes the sale won''t affect his service or personnel at the bank.
"I just hope everything stays the same," Parks said.
During a Thursday morning conference call, Trustmark CEO Richard Hickson said changes in service will be minimal, if not non-existent. He''s said he was excited to delve deeper into Cadence Bank''s Golden Triangle market.
"Needless to say, the Trustmark board (of directors) and associates are very pleased to have Cadence and their very strong customer base join Trustmark."
Cadence Bank chairman and CEO Lewis Mallory Jr. shared a similar sentiment.
"We are elated with our new partner and we want to contribute to this union and make it successful," Mallory said.
mississippian commented at 9/24/2010 3:45:00 PM:
Cadence stated years ago they would never be bought out. Then they made some unwise decisions to buy out other banks placing them in their current condition. Now Trustmark is buying out a failing bank. You do the math and guess what will happen to Trustmark at some point down the road. I'll be taking my business to TFCU.
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