MidSouth Bank Featured in NYT Magazine on Getting the Economy Moving Again

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LAFAYETTE, La., May 18 /-/ -- Are small banks the country's future? That's the question The New York Times Magazine seeks to answer in its Sunday, May 17, story titled "Rusty Cloutier Has Money to Spare."

Reporter Jim Rendon's story explores what small banks like MidSouth Bank, where Cloutier serves as president and CEO, are teaching the rest of the country about how to change the financial system. "At big banks -- Citigroup, Bank of America, Wells Fargo -- lending may have slowed to a trickle, but at the other end of the financial system, there are 8,500 community banks, local institutions like MidSouth, and most are doing fine. They are encouraging businesses to borrow money -- to replace aging equipment, invest in new technology, make acquisitions -- and to get the economy moving again."

The New York Times Magazine story is the latest in a string of national media stories about the Lafayette-based institution (Cloutier is again quoted today by Renuka Rayasam, associate editor of The Kiplinger Letter), which earlier this year launched a 14-city town hall-style series of meetings throughout Louisiana and Texas to spread the word about its lending efforts. MidSouth Bank's Cloutier has since become a high-profile spokesman for community banks across the country, testifying on Capitol Hill and spreading the message via various national media outlets that community banks are the solution to the nation's financial woes.

The financial community is now taking notice, much like The New York Times Magazine: "Even during the subprime lending boom," writes Rendon, "most community banks, squeezed out of real estate by aggressive mortgage lenders, continued to make conservative loans to people and businesses they knew well." The story goes on to explain that community banks, unlike the large banks that sell their loans to investors, keep a majority of their loans on their books.

The story also explores Congress' efforts to bring big banks' lending practices more in line with those of community banks. "Representative Barney Frank, chairman of the House Committee on Financial Services, says that banks should keep some percentage of the loans they make on their own books as an incentive to responsible lending," Rendon notes. "Last week, the House passed a bill Frank helped sponsor that requires lenders to keep on their books at least 5 percent of every mortgage loan they make."

Read the full story at http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/17/magazine/17wwln-rendon-t.html.

About MidSouth Bancorp, Inc.

MidSouth Bancorp, Inc. (NYSE Amex: MSL) is a bank holding company headquartered in Lafayette, La., with total assets of $923.1 million as of March 31, 2009. Through its wholly-owned bank subsidiary, MidSouth Bank, N.A., the Company offers complete banking services to commercial and retail customers in south Louisiana and southeast Texas. It has 34 locations in Louisiana and Texas and more than 170 ATMs. The group is community oriented and focuses primarily on offering commercial and consumer loan and deposit services to individuals, and small and middle market businesses.

Established in 1985, MidSouth Bank has 27 offices extending along the Interstate 10 corridor in south Louisiana located in Lafayette (9), Baton Rouge (3), New Iberia (3), Lake Charles (2), Sulphur, Jeanerette, Jennings, Thibodaux, Larose, Opelousas, Breaux Bridge, Cecilia, Morgan City and Houma. Additionally, the Company has seven full-service offices in the southeast region of Texas, including Houston, Beaumont (3), Vidor, College Station and Conroe. It also has a mortgage loan center in Conroe.

MidSouth Bancorp's common stock is traded on the NYSE Amex under the symbol MSL.

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