Jun 2, 2011 10:01 AM by Lauren Wilson & AP
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Over the upcoming weekend, a big change will hit regional banking in the South as Hancock Holding Corp. officially takes over its century-old-plus banking rival, Whitney Holding Corp.
Not deterred by that deal, other companies are making their own inroads into Whitney's traditional New Orleans turf and expanding elsewhere in Louisiana and Texas. They include three Lafayette-based banking players - Iberiabank Corp., MidSouth Bancorp Inc. and Home Bancorp Inc.
For now, Louisiana seems to be the exception to what has been a recent cold trend of mergers and acquisitions in the U.S. banking industry. But analysts expect that to change in the next few years as banks get their balance sheets in order and work their way out of the post-2008 credit crisis.