A year ago, the Tupelo, Miss., based bank reported earnings of more than $8 million. Bancorp South, a regional Southern bank with two branches in Lafayette Parish, posted a first quarter loss of $494,000. The latest earnings report is a contrast to the bank's first quarter earnings report last year, when the bank posted more than $8 million in profit.
According to an Associated Press report published on The Houston Chronicle's website, the bank's CEO Aubrey Patterson attributes the negative earnings to the bank raising its credit loss allowance from $43.1 million to $53.3 million and a $10.5 million dip in mortgage revenue from the fourth quarter of 2010.
He also tells AP that the company spent $4.1 million for increases in salaries and benefits:
Patterson said the credit loss provision is tied primarily to losses in real estate construction and acquisition-development loans, especially in the residential sector.
Patterson said BancorpSouth remains a well-capitalized company. At the same time, he said the company was cautious about potential loan growth this year because of high unemployment and the slow economic recovery.
Bancorp has one branch in Lafayette and one in Broussard, and also operates in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas.
Read more on Bancorp South's earnings report here.