Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Whitney Bank Sold
Hancock Holding Co., the parent company of Mississippi-based Hancock Bank, is buying New Orleans-based Whitney Holding Corporation, parent company of the city's signature local lending institution, Whitney National Bank, in a deal that will be completed in the second quarter of next year.
The famously conservative 127-year-old Whitney got into trouble after expanding into Florida during the real estate boom and found itself saddled with many bad loans, prompting it to take money from the federal Troubled Asset Relief Program in 2008.
New Orleans, once the banking center of the South, has seen many of its banks get gobbled up by out-of-state financial institutions. Most recently, in March 2005, Capital One Financial Corp. announced the purchase of Hibernia Corp., owner of the then 135-year-old Hibernia Bank.
The merger between Hancock and Whitney has been unanimously approved by both companies' boards of directors, and five members of the Whitney board will join Hancock upon completion of the merger