Hancock Holding holds its own as a Gulf Coast financial force. It is the holding company of Mississippi-based Hancock Bank and Louisiana-based Whitney Bank. Together, the banks have about 300 branches throughout the Gulf South, from Florida to Texas. The community-oriented banks offer traditional products and services such as deposit accounts, trust services, and consumer and business lending. Hancock Holding also has subsidiaries or business units that offer insurance, discount brokerage services, mutual funds, and consumer financing. In 2011 the company acquired regional rival Whitney Holding for some $1.5 billion.
The combination of Hancock and Whitney brought together two of the largest (and oldest) financial companies in the Gulf region. Following the merger bank branches in Louisiana and Texas operate under the Whitney Bank name while branches in Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida have the Hancock Bank brand. Hancock Holding was required to divest nearly 10 locations acquired in the deal in Louisiana and Mississippi to satisfy antitrust concerns.
Hancock Holding reported net income of $76.8 million on revenues of nearly $800 million. The Whitney acquisition boosted both of those numbers. The company also benefitted from fewer provisions for loan losses and charged-off loans.
The company's market area has faced plenty of challenges in recent years. Devastating hurricanes, the recession, and a major oil spill have plagued Gulf Coast communities. However, Hancock Holding has continued to grow across its market and enter new ones.
It is looking to increase its international profile. The company, which operates in major Gulf of Mexico port cities, sees opportunity to be more involved in trade work as the Panama Canal is expanded. The canal expansion (expected to be completed in 2014) will increase trade between Central and South America and North America. – less