BY MARY DITCH
A little different from your ordinary bank, Business First Bank stands out in our community by offering a “boutique banking” concept provided by 75+ years of bankers experience by the Bayou Region Team alone, personalized and customizable service excellence, and passion for exceeding and fulfilling the business and personal banking expectations of each one of our clients.
Business First Bancshares, Inc., through its banking subsidiary Business First Bank (B1Bank), domiciled in Baton Rouge, was founded in 2006. The Bayou Region Loan Production Office (LPO) was established by Don Hingle in 2009. The organic growth of our loan and deposit client base merited the conversion from LPO into a full-service banking center in October of 2015.
Today, B1Bank has 250+ employees servicing its footprint in Louisiana: Baton Rouge, Lake Charles, Monroe, Northwest Louisiana, Lafayette, New Orleans, Covington, Houma, Minden; and in Dallas, Texas. B1Bank has evolved into 20 offices, including 17 full-service banking centers, one wealth solutions office in markets across Louisiana. Jude Melville, President and CEO of B1Bank, leads the way as the bank grows its experienced team of bankers in each of their served markets, keeping the teams focused on the key goal of becoming the region’s most influential business-focused community bank.
“It’s important to listen to the customer,” explains Gloria Navarro, Market President for the Bayou Region. “We partner with our customer, understand what their needs and goals are, and effectively communicate with them to agree on the most effective and viable solution. We want to help our clients grow to the level of excellence they desire, both, personally and professionally.”
B1Bank stands out by serving our Bayou Region small to midsize businesses, their owners and employees with a wide variety of deposit, savings, commercial and consumer loan products, treasury management services, merchant processing and wealth solutions, all designed to meet our client’s needs and future goals. Our outstanding competitive deposit rates for businesses and individuals, typically exceed 50 to 100 basis points above interest rates offered by local community banks. Timeliness of local credit decisions is another advantage that benefits our consumer, residential mortgage and commercial borrowers.
B1Bank initiated trading in NASDAQ Global Select Market on April 9, 2018 under the ticker symbol “BFST”. We are proud to be the only publicly traded community bank in our Region. We thank all of our investors and clients for their tremendous and consistent support over our start-up years.
In June 2018 B1Bank announced the acquisition of the Richland State Bank in Rayville, Louisiana, which would result in Business First Bank becoming the 4th largest Louisiana headquartered bank with total assets of approximately $2 billion. •