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BOBBY ARDOIN
Editor and Contributing Writer

Featured Photograph: St. Landry Homestead and Savings Bank president and CEO Joe Zanco speaks to St. Landry Parish School Board members during a meeting June 2. Behind him is St. Landry Homestead employee Amanda Quebedeaux.(Photograph by Bobby Ardoin.)

St. Landry Homestead Bank and Savings Bank will become the fiscal agent for the St. Landry Parish School District effective June 30, according to a decision by school board members.

Director of Finance Tressa Miller said during a Finance Committee meeting in May that St. Landry Homestead will replace St. Landry Bank and Trust Company Inc. of Opelousas as the lead bank for the District after 30 years.

The budgetary year for the School District starts July 1.

Miller and Superintendent Patrick Jenkins said that St. Landry Bank officials told them earlier this year that they are currently unable to handle the business volume created by the School District. No one from St. Landry Bank represented the company during the Committee meeting or when board members voted on the matter during a regular meeting June 2.

Jenkins said several other area local banks offered bids to become the fiscal agent for the school system, but he felt St. Landry Homestead offered the better overall plan.

In a St. Landry Now interview, Miller added that she and school officials examined criteria such as the number of bank branches, service charge fees, interest rates and delivery of service as the deciding factors before recommending St. Landry Homestead as the new fiscal agent.

Board member Hazel Sias, who abstained when she and other board members voted to select the fiscal agent, complained to Jenkins that she has not had enough time to determine whether the bid by St. Landry Homestead was the best offer.

“We just got this (June 2), How do we really know this is the best offer?” Sias asked. Miller said the timing of the proposal fiscal agent contract had to be done at the June 2 meeting.

Joe Zanco, president and CEO of St. Landry Homestead, said during the interview that other parish banks will also participate with handling various deposit accounts from the School District. However Zanco said St. Landry Homestead would be considered the lead bank.

St. Landry Name Change

Several board members asked Zanco if St. Landry Homestead was going to continued being recognized as a local bank, since the company is expecting to officially announce a name change to Catalyst Bank sometime this year.

Zinc said the Catalyst Bank name indicates what he described as a mutual stock conversion. The name change, Zanco said, is expected to help businesses and growth.

A story contained in the S&P Global website in 2021 indicates that Catalyst Bank is serving as the holding company for St. Landry Homestead by owning all of the outstanding shares of capital stock. Catalyst is also considered now as the parent company of St. Landry Homestead and trading as CLST, according to a 2021 story in The Advocate.

The name change shows the S&P Global article stated, shows the intent of Catalyst to convert to a fully public stock holding company and mutual holding company.

St. Landry Homestead, The Advocate article said, has two branches in Opelousas, others in Eunice and Port Barre as well as another in Carencro.