IberiaBank to lay off 97 Teche Federal workers

IberiaBank Corp. plans to lay off 97 workers at Teche Federal Bank’s corporate headquarters in New Iberia, with more cuts expected later from overlapping branch locations.

The layoffs at Teche’s Jefferson Terrace Boulevard headquarters in New Iberia are the result of IberiaBank’s acquisition of Teche Holding Co., the holding company for Teche Federal.

IberiaBank is the largest bank based in Louisiana, with headquarters in Lafayette.

The company has 267 combined offices, including 172 branches and four loan production offices in Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, Alabama, Texas and Florida; 21 title insurance offices in Arkansas and Louisiana; and mortgage representatives in 61 locations in 12 states. It employs more than 2,600 people.

IberiaBank has 21 branch, 7 ATM and two drive-thru-only locations in the New Orleans area.

Documents filed Monday with the Louisiana Workforce Commission show the 97 layoffs at Teche’s New Iberia headquarters are scheduled to take place in various departments in two two-week periods.

The first begins May 31 and the second starts June 30, according to IberiaBank’s Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act notice.

IberiaBank plans other layoffs where its branches and Teche’s overlap and in redundant operations, IberiaBank spokeswoman Beth Ardoin said.

IberiaBank and Teche announced their $161 million stock deal in mid-January.

At the time, IberiaBank officials said the deal would generate pretax savings of $19 million a year, with $11.4 million of that from reductions in employee compensation and benefits.

Teche shareholders must still approve the deal, which is expected to be completed in the second quarter. IberiaBank has filed a preliminary proxy statement calling for a special meeting of Teche shareholders; no date has been set for the vote.

Significant consolidation was expected due to overlapping locations. IberiaBank’s and Teche’s corporate offices lie just 30 miles apart. Eight of Teche’s 20 branches lie within a mile of an existing IberiaBank branch, according to an investor presentation filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The overlap affects all four of Teche’s branches in Lafayette, all three in New Iberia and one of three in Baton Rouge.

In a report issued the day after the deal was announced, Sterne Agee analyst Peyton Green said IberiaBank will close at least eight of Teche’s branches and possibly as many as 10. The branches Green expects to close are the four in Lafayette, three in New Iberia and one in Baton Rouge.

The Louisiana Workforce Commission will provide early intervention seminars to help affected employees learn more about re-employment, retraining and applying for unemployment benefits, spokesman Tom Guarisco said. The agency has not set dates for the seminars but hopes to complete those sessions, which typically last 60 to 90 minutes, by the end of April.

Members of the commission’s Rapid Response team, the local Workforce Commission office and state unemployment agency will be on hand to answer questions. The agency may also set up additional workshops if employee surveys show additional support, services or training are needed.

The Rapid Response services are free to the employer and participating workers.