The Bank of Zachary is investing in its brick and mortar footprint in the Baton Rouge metro area this year which includes a new loan production office in Denham Springs, a new branch in Watson and a remodeling of its headquarters in downtown Zachary.
The loan production office is now open at 348 Veterans Boulevard near Highway 190. The newest branch in Watson is a former Capital One branch located along Highway 16 and is expected to open in early 2020. It was not immediately clear how long the full remodeling of its main office in Zachary may take to complete.
Livingston Parish was the second fastest growing parish in the Baton Rouge metro area last year when ranked by population growth.
"It's a market that we've been looking at for several years," said Mark Marionneaux, CEO of The Bank of Zachary, about the Livingston Parish expansion. "As we were in that process we saw that Capital One was looking to close a location in Watson so we wanted to turn that into a full service branch."
The bank has three other branches, two in Zachary and one in Baton Rouge near Central. The bank bought land next to the branch near Central along Hooper Road and plans to renovate it next year.
Marionneaux said the community bank launched the expansion as Zachary is recovering from mass layoffs of major employers such as the Georgia Pacific plant.
The Bank of Zachary's profits were down slightly in the past year, it generated $706,000 in net income as of June 30, down from $1 million in net income one year before during the same time period.
"We want to be sustainable in the future so we started to set aside more revenue for the unknown," Marionneaux said about the bank's loan loss provision or amount set aside for potential defaults. "We're trying to make some investment in where we are going and maintain long-term sustainability with a rainy-day fund."
The bank set aside $210,000 for potential loan and lease losses as of June 30, up from $90,000 one year before.
The community bank saw its total assets drop as well to $240 million as of June 30, down from $244 million as of June 2018. Commercial and industrial loans, which are loans to businesses, declined to $6.1 million as of second quarter, down from $7.9 million during the same time frame one year ago.
Total loans at the bank did increase to $171 million, up from $154 million as of June 2018 — which appears to be driven by single family home construction and land development loans.
The bank has nearly 60 employees and expects to hire for the new branch.
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