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Lakeside Bank



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Lakeside Announces Opening of New Building - Friday, March 09, 2012
In 2010, the country was in the middle of a recession, the financial market meltdown still dominated the headlines and trust in banks was lower than anyone could remember in our lifetime.

In the middle of all this economic gloom and doom, one new bank defied the odds and was granted a charter – the only one awarded in 2010 – by banking regulators. That bank was Lakeside in Lake Charles.

The idea for Lakeside came from local real estate developer Andrew Vanchiere (now a board member). He was dissatisfied with his existing bank and in 2007 and decided to do something about it. He rounded up a group of local businessmen who raised the start-up capital and recruited the bank’s management team. The bank opened late in the summer of 2010 in a temporary building while construction of the 6000-square-foot main began.

Lakeside is actually the only new bank in the country in the past two years, with the exception of three specifically given to acquire failing banks. Technically, banks are granted charters from their primary regulatory agency, which for community banks is the Louisiana Office of Financial Institution. But any charter granted is contingent on the applicant receiving deposit insurance from the FDIC. This agency has been very reluctant to grant approval to applicants after being overwhelmed with troubled and failing banks in recent years.

So how did Lakeside become the exception? According to bank president and CEO Mike Harmison, it was a combination of factors. "We had the capital, a conservative business plan, local board leadership and an experienced management team. And while this was impressive to the regulators, the strong economy in Southwest Louisiana helped convince them that we had what was needed to succeed.”

It appears the regulators’ trust was not misplaced. In just two years, Lakeside has gone from being the country’s only new bank to reporting triple and quadruple percentage growth in the key areas for financial strength and stability. Several experienced local banking leaders have joined the bank’s leadership team in recent months, and the new main office, located at 4735 Nelson Road in Lake Charles, is now open. Plans are underway for the opening of additional Lakeside branches later this year.

"Our growth and success is a testament to the trust our customers have placed in us,” says Harmison. "The opening of our new building represents a big milestone and we have even bigger plans for the future. Our commitment to providing the region with excellence in local banking is stronger than ever.”

For more information about Lakeside and its services, call 474-3766 or visit www.lakesidebanking.com.