Pulaski Bank to Be Rebranded as IberiaBank FSB


Pulaski Bank to Be Rebranded as IberiaBank FSB
Iberiabank Chairman William Fenstermaker appearing on CBS News to talk about his company's decision to give back government bailout money. Click here to see the video.
The name of Pulaski Bank & Trust, a part of the Little Rock landscape since 1973, is being changed to IberiaBank FSB by its holding company, IberiaBank Corp. of Lafayette, La.

The new name was officially announced Friday morning, but a spokeswoman confirmed the pending change to ArkansasBusiness.com late Thursday afternoon.

The company, which entered Arkansas two years ago, is taking advantage of favorable national publicity generated by its status as the first banking company to return federal bailout money, Beth Ardoin said.

IberiaBank Corp. currently has two charters: IberiaBank of Lafayette, a bank charter with 50 branches in Louisiana and 3.86 billion in assets, and Pulaski Bank & Trust, a thrift charter.

IberiaBank will keep the separate charters even after Pulaski is renamed IberiaBank FSB, Ardoin said. FSB is an abbreviation for federal savings bank, another name for a federally chartered thrift or savings and loan association.

IberiaBank closed on the purchase of Pocahontas Bancorp Inc. of Jonesboro, the holding company for First Community Bank, and Pulaski Investment Corp., the holding company for Pulaski Bank & Trust in Little Rock in February 2007. IberiaBank Corp. then merged the two institutions, using the First Community thrift charter and the Pulaski Bank name.

Pulaski Bank then expanded into northwest Arkansas in May when it purchased insured deposits and eight branches from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., receiver for failed ANB Financial of Bentonville.

Pulaski Bank had long operated a couple of branches in the Memphis area, but last month IberiaBank Corp. took advantage of the unfettered branching privileges of a thrift to open a loan production office in Mobile, Ala. That office will become a full-service branch, according to Friday's announcement, and a branch is also being opened in Houston.

While acknowledging that the IberiaBank name has little currency in Arkansas, Ardoin said the Pulaski name was similarly handicapped outside central Arkansas. Meanwhile, the company was the first to announce that it had changed its mind on accepting an investment by the Treasury Department under the Troubles Asset Relief Program and was the first to actually do so last week. National publicity ensued, including an appearance on CBS News by Chairman William Fenstermaker.

Pulaski Heights Bank was chartered in Little Rock in 1956 and renamed Pulaski Bank & Trust Co. in 1973.