MidSouth Bank Adds Twist to National 'Go Local' Campaign

Nov 08, 2011, 14:41 ET from MidSouth Bancorp, Inc.

LAFAYETTE, La., Nov. 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- MidSouth Bancorp, Inc.("MidSouth") (NYSE Amex: MSL) announced today that its subsidiary, MidSouth Bank, N.A., has not only joined the national protest against monthly fees on debit cards (which some "too-big-to-fail" banks are already wisely backing off of), but it also began offering potential customers $5 to bring their big-bank debit cards to the Lafayette-based community bank.

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"It's a matter of principle," said MidSouth Bank President and CEO Rusty Cloutier. "We're not thinking people are going to come to us for $5; they're going to come to us because we are responsible stewards of their money, we put their money to work in the form of personal and business loans right here in their communities, and because we want to build a lifelong personal banking relationship with them. But we are also sending the message loud and clear that we're appalled by what these banks are trying to do to their customers."

MidSouth Bank's efforts coincide with those of the Independent Community Bankers of America, a respected trade organization that is taking advantage of a national movement that is seeing many American consumers switching to banking relationships that are closer to home. Already a success, ICBA's "Go Local" campaign has been generating headlines across the country.

ICBA is reminding consumers that their local community bank is a safe haven from impersonal bank practices by giant corporations that prompted the nation's financial crisis. Local small businesses themselves, the nation's more than 7,000 community banks thrive only when their customers and communities do the same. ICBA is reminding potential community bank customers that they will be rewarded with lifelong financial relationships by people who care about them and look out for the best interests of their communities.

"We're proud to carry the banner for what is as much of an anti-bullying message as anything else," Cloutier added. "People need to know they don't have to feel overwhelmed and taken advantage of. There is an alternative out there that is so much better, an alternative that actually helps their communities grow."

As an example, the MidSouth Bank executive points to the U.S. Treasury's August selection of MidSouth Bank for participation in the Small Business Lending Fund (SBLF), which is allowing the bank to extend more commercial loans at low and competitive rates to small businesses across its two-state trade area. Cloutier says MidSouth Bank's goal is to put $180 million in new loans on its books over the next 24 months.

Despite challenging economic times, community banks continue to fund nearly 60 percent of all small businesses under $1 million. Cloutier said they also use local dollars to help families purchase homes, buy a car, finance college and build financial security.

Of the more than 7,000 community banks across the country, nearly 5,000 are ICBA members. Representing more than 23,000 locations nationwide and employing more than 280,000 Americans, ICBA members hold more than $1 trillion in assets, $900 billion in deposits, and $700 billion in loans to consumers, small businesses and the agricultural community. 

About MidSouth Bancorp, Inc.

MidSouth Bancorp, Inc. is a bank holding company headquartered in Lafayette, Louisiana, with assets of $1.2 billion as of September 30, 2011. Through its wholly owned subsidiary, MidSouth Bank, N.A., MidSouth offers a full range of banking services to commercial and retail customers in Louisiana and Texas. MidSouth Bank has 39 locations in Louisiana and Texas and is connected to a worldwide ATM network that provides customers with access to more than 43,000 surcharge-free ATMs. More corporate information is available at www.midsouthbank.com.

SOURCE MidSouth Bancorp, Inc.