Like Elvis Presley, BancorpSouth has grown beyond its Tupelo roots. It's the holding company for BancorpSouth Bank, which operates nearly 300 branches in eight southern and midwestern states. Catering to consumers and small and midszed businesses, the bank offers checking and savings accounts, loans, credit cards, and commercial banking services. BancorpSouth also sells insurance and provides brokerage, investment advisory, and asset management services throughout most of its market area. Real estate loans, including consumer and commercial mortgages and home equity, construction, and agricultural loans, comprise approximately three-quarters of its loan portfolio.
BancorpSouth Bank operates in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee, and Texas. BancorpSouth's insurance and financial advisory businesses also operate in Illinois and Florida, respectively.
Since the credit crunch began in 2007, the company had been stockpiling provisions for loan losses to cover sour real estate construction, acquisition, and development loans. After three consecutive years of increasing its provisions, it reduced them in 2011, a move that helped the company's bottom line. In order to cut costs, the bank closed or divested some two dozen low-volume branches in 2011.
To reduce its reliance on interest-related revenue, BancorpSouth hopes to diversify its revenue stream by increasing the amount it generates from mortgage lending, insurance, brokerage, and securities activities. To this end, subsidiary BancorpSouth Insurance Services has acquired small insurance agencies in Arkansas, Missouri, and Texas. – less