BancorpSouth to close 23 branches in six states


The Associated Press



TUPELO - BancorpSouth Inc. said Tuesday that it will close 23 bank branches in six states this summer as part of a plan to consolidate operations. 




The branches haven''t seen enough growth to cover their operating expenses, the company said. The consolidation plan is part of BancorpSouth''s initiative to streamline its branch banking operations and improve production. 




The closings will begin in early August. BancorpSouth expects a pretax expense of $3 million from the move but anticipates annual savings of about $4.4 million once the process is complete. 




The targeted closings represent $36 million in loans and total deposits of $239 million. 




About 100 employees will be affected. 




BancorpSouth has some 312 offices, including its mortgage and insurance operations. It has some 278 banking locations. The closings will affect only banking offices. 




Both Arkansas and Mississippi will lose eight locations; the remaining branches are spread across Alabama, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas. Louisiana and Florida were spared any cuts. 




Officials declined to identify the exact locations, but said management and employees of the branches had been notified Monday. 




BancorpSouth spokesman Randy Birchfield said customers of the affected branches would be notified in the next week. 




The closings must be approved by federal and state regulators.




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