HISTORY OF RENASANT BANK
With perseverance as its watchword, Renasant Bank has a rich history of achievement in its journey to becoming one of the South’s most successful companies. A collection of community banks that values its relationships with employees and clients above all else, Renasant has found its strength in being a company dedicated to solid leadership, innovation, and community partnership. From its humble beginnings on February 27, 1904 as a makeshift $100,000 bank started in an old Lee County, MS bakery to its current multi-state 75+ banking, lending, insurance and financial services offices with $4.2 billion in assets, Renasant Bank has evolved into a client focused corporation that is stronger than ever.
30 years before Elvis Presley’s fame put Tupelo, Mississippi on the map as his birthplace, a group of prominent businessmen from this little known town and Lee County joined together in 1904 to form The Peoples Bank & Trust Company. Nearly a century later Peoples would become Renasant Bank. Due to excellent leadership during its early days, "Peoples" as it was affectionately known, withstood the Bankers’ Panic of 1907 that shut down approximately 100 Mississippi banks.
Through this same perseverance, Renasant also survived the 1929 “National Bank Holiday” that shut down an additional 68 banks in Mississippi. While many banks could not repay previous depositors, all of Renasant’s depositors were ultimately repaid. As the war years broke the economic stagnation of the 1930s, Renasant began to rapidly grow with its asset size increasing from $3 million in 1954 to $73 million in 1973.
During the 1970s and 1980s, Renasant acquired or opened de novo banks throughout Northern Mississippi by adding locations in West Point, Pontotoc, Aberdeen, Calhoun City, Amory, Water Valley, Coffeeville, Iuka, and Southaven. In 1981, Renasant opened its current Corporate Headquarters in downtown Tupelo.
The growth of Renasant continued to accelerate in the 90s as Renasant acquired banks in Grenada, Louisville, Hernando, New Albany, DeSoto County and Batesville while opening de novo banks in Olive Branch and Aberdeen.
In 1999, Renasant purchased its first insurance agency in Tupelo to enable it to provide clients with a more complete package of financial services. Adding to the insurance group, in 2000, Renasant acquired another insurance agency out of Corinth, Mississippi.
During 2004, Renasant celebrated its 100th year of business which makes it one of Mississippi’s oldest banks.
Following the beginning of the Bank’s second 100 years, Renasant made its first out of state move by acquiring Renasant Bancshares of Memphis, Tennessee. This would be how The Peoples Bank & Trust Company got its current name, Renasant. Shortly after this merger, Renasant moved into Alabama with the acquisition of Heritage Bank with locations in Birmingham, Decatur and Huntsville.
In 2007, Renasant acquired Capital Bancorp, Inc. of Nashville, Tennessee, giving the bank 7 locations in Middle Tennessee. Between 2003 and 2007, Renasant grew from a little over $1 billion in assets to over $3.4 billion in assets.
In 2010, Renasant acquired Crescent Bank and Trust of Jasper, Georgia which gave the Bank 11 locations in the North Georgia and suburban Atlanta markets. This $1 billion FDIC acquisition expanded Renasant’s footprint into Georgia –giving the bank over 75 locations in 4 southern states and a total of $4.2 billion in assets.
Moving past those character building years in the banking industry to multiple mergers, acquisitions, and de novo expansion, Renasant has strengthened its position in the marketplace and is poised for even more success in its second 100 years.
Although the bank has humble roots, it has never shied from taking advantage of opportunities to better serve clients through innovation.
Renasant was the first bank in Lee County to establish a separate savings department, to pay uniform rates on savings accounts and time certificates, to use home savings banks, to offer bank by mail, and to establish branches. It was also the first bank to introduce automated cash dispensing machines and the first commercial bank in Mississippi to introduce a debit card.
The bank was also one of the first to offer automatic sweep accounts, imaged bank statements, and statements on CD-ROM. To this day, Renasant remains a regional leader in banking innovation and cutting edge business services.
As relationships are most important to Renasant, the bank’s reputation for involvement in the community of the people it serves is well known. From its employees’ leadership roles and membership in many nationally known philanthropic organizations to the bank’s charitable contributions and the leasing of its original headquarters for $1 a year as a non-profit museum, Renasant has always been a progressive leader for community improvement and development.
"We look forward to a bright future of stronger growth, prosperous communities and lifelong relationships," explains Chairman & CEO E. Robinson McGraw, "at Renasant, we truly believe in the calling of Greater Service to our employees, board members, shareholders, employees, clients and the communities we serve."