The Bank Slate


Business First in La. reports lower profit on securities sales

Business First Bancshares in Baton Rouge, La., reported lower quarterly profit that reflected securities losses and costs tied to a customer fraud/operational loss.


The $6.6 billion-asset company said in a press release that its fourth-quarter profit fell by 12% from a year earlier, to $15.8 million.


Business First said it sold $71.5 million of treasury, agency and municipal securities at a $2.5 million loss. Proceeds were invested in higher-yielding agency securities. It should take about a year for the company to earn back the loss.


The company noted that other expenses rose by 6% from a year earlier due to $654,000 in customer fraud/operational losses, $490,000 in OREO expenses (with most tied to a former bank property) and $466,000 in data processing costs.

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