MidSouth Bank: Old fashioned service, modern conveniences

The last time you walked into your bank, did the teller greet you by name?

The answer may be yes, but she probably didn’t do so until seeing your name on the deposit slip you handed her.

When customers visit MidSouth Bank, they are personally addressed – and usually offered a cup of coffee, too. Callers actually speak to a live person without being dumped into an automated phone system, and account holders at risk of overdraft are taught how to overcome financial challenges as part of the bank’s Fresh Start program.

“MidSouth Bank is rooted in traditional, old-fashioned values,” said Michael Lea, Vice President of Marketing at MidSouth. “Our customers appreciate the help and personal attention. And it’s true – unless every line is full when you call, a real person still answers the phone. But we’re modern from the perspective of the services we offer and the way we drive our business. We recognize that technology should be used to enhance customer service, not replace it. That’s what makes us different,” he said.

Recognized as one of the South’s fastest growing community banks, MidSouth Bank – headquartered in Louisiana– recently acquired Jefferson Bank branches in North Dallas, Mesquite, Rockwall, White Rock and Fort Worth, bringing its old-fashioned service and modern conveniences to the area’s small business and retail banking customers. Other Texas branches include Houston, Beaumont, Vidor, College  Station and Conroe.

CLICK the photo to LISTEN to the audio interview. Lynn Fowler, Regional President of MidSouth Bank, is congratulated by news anchor Scott Sams. MidSouth Bank has been recognized as a True Blue Business. Photo by BlueRibbonNews.com.

“From MidSouth’s humble beginnings in 1985 – starting with only $4 million in assets – we’re now a publicly traded bank with $1.4 billion in assets, employing more than 400 banking professionals, serving more than 50,000 customer accounts,” said Lynn Fowler, president of the bank’s Dallas and Central Texas regions. “Our business is built on relationships, referrals, and warm, friendly service. As we grow, our focus is always on doing what’s right for the people we serve.”

MidSouth Bank has earned numerous local and national awards, and is listed in the prestigious Russell 3000 Index. The bank’s founding president and CEO, Rusty Cloutier, was presented the 2011 Outstanding Community Service Leader Award by the NAACP. Most recently, MidSouth Bank was named a True Blue Business for its support of small business and its proven commitment to its customers, employees and the community.

 “MidSouth Bank is always very responsive, very friendly, with a can-do attitude – it’s always ‘hey, let me see if I can figure this out for you.’ I’ve never had an issue or a problem with them – which is pretty unusual for a bank. They’re relationship driven, not transaction driven.” – Tom Parson, commercial real estate banking customer

“It’s an honor to be True Blue. It means we’re helping people, and that’s what we’re put on this Earth for,” said Cloutier. “MidSouth Bank works with universities, theUnited Way, the Chambers, community foundations and business communities to help the people who need it most.”

Cloutier credits his family for inspiring him to enter the banking industry so he could “give back.”

“I believe in compassion and conservatism. I believe in working for the poor. There’s a lot of people out there hurting,” he said. He added that he has two passions in life – the bank and his grandchildren. “That’s it, that’s what I do,” he said.

“People ask me why I hate Wall Street banks so much, and it’s because they don’t have any compassion at all – and because of what they’ve done to so many people across America. It’s unconscionable. It doesn’t mean you can’t do good business and make good money, but you’ve got to have compassion and heart.” – Rusty Cloutier, founding president and CEO of MidSouth Bank

Rusty Cloutier, founding president and CEO of MidSouth Bank, and author of the book, "Big, Bad Banks: How greed and ego among the big shots in banking and government created the crisis that wrecked our economy."

Cloutier’s unassuming nature and Cajun accent are as distinctive as the bank he founded. MidSouth’s original 3,000 square-foot facility in Lafayette, LA was nicknamed “The Hut” and had no drive-through teller windows, no teller counters inside – just a desk that welcomed customers who were hit hard by the collapse of the oil and gas industry.

“Those were pretty tough economic times – for our customers, and for the bank,” Cloutier recalled.  “But tough times make better people, and we were determined to make it work.”

Twenty-seven years later, MidSouth Bank’s commitment to its customers and the community remains evident from the moment you walk through the door of any of its 40 branch locations.

“If you ask me how it is that we don’t turn our community bank into a national corporation, it’s by letting the people on the ground and in the markets run it and do what they know is right in their heart to do – what’s right for the community,” Cloutier said. “It’s never about the dollar at the end of the day; it’s about what you have done,” Cloutier said.

For more information about MidSouth Bank, visit midsouthbank.com.

To inquire about the True Blue Business Recognition Series, email information@truebluebusiness.com.

 

MIDSOUTH BANK NORTH TEXAS BANKING CENTERS

Preston Road Banking Center

18333 Preston Road

Dallas, TX 75252

 

North Galloway Ave. Banking Center

2828 N. Galloway Ave.

Mesquite,TX75150

Ridge Road Banking Center

2435 Ridge Road

Rockwall,TX75087

Garland Road Banking Center

9069 Garland Road

Dallas,TX75218

15th St. Banking Center

100 E. 15th St.

Fort Worth,TX76102

Written by Dawn Redig, Blue Ribbon News, for publication in the March 7, 2012 True Blue Business special supplement to the Wall Street Journal, all rights reserved.