Business First Bank

Business First Bank has officially changed its name to b1Bank, a move that reflects how the business has informally referred to itself for more than a decade.

Jude Melville, president and chief executive officer of b1Bank, said the bank stepped up usage of the shortened name about four years ago, when it moved its headquarters to downtown Baton Rouge.

Business First Bancshares, the Baton Rouge-based holding company of Business First Bank, saw its profits increase during second quarter this year.

Business First generated $6.8 million of net income, up from $5.7 million as of June 2018 - which is about 50 cents per share. 

The local bank underwrote $1.6 billion in loans as of June 30 and had total assets of $2.2 billion. 

Business First sold its Mangham banking center to Winnsboro State Bank and gained $593,000 as a result during second quarter. 

“Our strong second quarter results continue to benefit from the synergies gained through our recent strategic acquisitions and return on internal investments,” said Jude Melville, CEO of Business First in a news release. 

Business First acquired Richland State Bank in late 2018. 

The bank's provision for loan losses - or the amount set aside for potential default - was $1.3 million as of June 30 up from $474,000 in June 2018. 

Business First about two dozen branches across Louisiana and Texas. 

Email Kristen Mosbrucker at