About Us

Our History

Landmark Bank was founded in August, 1897, and capitalized with $15,000 from local investors who recognized the need for the community to have a bank to call its own. The original management team of The Hon. D. W. Pipes (President), E. J. Buck (Vice President) and H. H. Forrestor (Cashier) established our commitment to personal service from the very day we opened our doors for business.

Through the years Landmark Bank has believed that the future of the Bank depends on the success and satisfaction of our customers each and every day. In 1999 The Board of Directors was proud to begin providing the Zachary community with these services by opening its first, full service branch at 20070 Plank Road. In December, 2011 the Greensburg branch was opened to serve the local community at 31 Kendrick Street. Then in January, 2019 the 1858 Church Street branch was opened in Zachary to serve both East and West side of Zachary.

You can choose megabanking, or you can choose community banking. If you find you prefer a personal banking relationship, drop by to see us today or browse our web site for a list of products and services available to you at Landmark Bank.

Board of Directors

  • Robert D. Ligon - Chairman
  • Ben Cavin
  • Dennis Aucoin
  • James Nugent, Jr.
  • John Barton, Jr.
  • Phillip T. Graham
  • Charlene M. Smith
  • Francois Boulanger

Landmark News

Message from the President/CEO – Ben Cavin


There will no doubt be numerous questions this morning and throughout the week regarding the failure of Silicon Valley Bank, and any implications this may have on the broader banking industry including local community banks. There will be much more information coming out in the upcoming weeks, but one of the glaring issues surrounding the failure appears to be inadequate communication by management and the board of SVB. As such, while we don’t know everything yet, we are sharing what we do know and providing context regarding Landmark Bank’s strategies and practices to ensure our stakeholders that Landmark Bank is safe and sound.

1) At this time, it appears that the failure of SVB was not the result of deteriorating asset quality (bad loans), but primarily the result of a lack of liquidity in the bank which was a major player in the Venture Capital and Tech Industry, as stated in the New York Times article posted over the weekend. “Silicon Valley Bank provided banking services to nearly half of the country’s venture capital-backed technology and life-science companies, according to its website, and to over 2,500 venture capital firms. Its swift collapse has sent shock waves through the tech industry, Wall Street and Washington.” The tech startups which made up a huge portion of SVB’s business are indicative of huge cash burn rates requiring them to need enormous amounts of cash flow from banks like SVB to simply make payroll.
2) In 2020, there was a large influx of cash into the entire banking industry. Most banks across the country saw a drastic increase in deposits including Landmark Bank. It appears at this point SVB saw increased deposits in the billions of dollars, which inflated the banks’ balance sheets, and likely strained capital ratios. While this was not an issue isolated with SVB, it appears that the bank, desiring to put these funds to work, invested in longer term securities at very low rates, likely generating only 1% returns on those funds. Again, this strategy was not isolated to SVB, since there really weren’t any better earning options for banks to deploy their cash and make a return. However, this strategy was one that would have had to project a long-term low-rate environment meaning that there was very little anticipation of a sharply rising rate environment.
3) As rates rise sharply, there is typically a negative correlation in the value of fixed rate bonds such as treasuries. What this means is that as rates increase, the values of those 1% bonds shrink tremendously because who would pay to purchase a 1% bond, when they can purchase a current bond for 4% or more. This caused unrealized losses to build up on the banks’ balance sheet. This in and of itself is not necessarily a problem unless you need to sell those bonds as a source of cash flow to the bank. It appears at SVB that there was a need for cashflow, which we can only speculate is likely due to deposit runoff which has been seen industry wide, and likely due to the high cash intensive tech startups which make up a large portion of the banks customer base. While the timeline is still somewhat fuzzy, the following is what appears to have transpired.
• The bank sold treasuries in its bond portfolio which generated billions of dollars in losses.
• There was an attempt to raise cash and capital through issuing additional stock, which apparently the bank was unable to complete.
• There are reports that the CEO of SVB sold millions of dollars of his own stock prior to the collapse. This coupled with poor communication from management and the board appears to have created a panic, and there was a run on the bank, which caused an estimated $42 Billion dollars of cash to flow out of the bank resulting in the collapse of the bank last week.

The federal government has stepped in, which is expected when something of this nature takes place. Here is what we know of their response so far.
1) The FDIC stepped in and assumed control of the bank last week.
2) Over the weekend the feds enacted emergency measures to ensure that all deposits at SVB, as well as Signature Bank (SB) in New York would be fully returned to depositors.
3) Any losses to the reserve fund which all applicable chartered banks pay into, will be recovered through increased assessments to the banks that pay into the fund.
4) In summary no losses will be assumed by the depositors of the banks, and Federal Reserve, and FDIC will oversee the sale of any bank assets.

The most important question in all of this is how these events effect Landmark Bank, or what exposure does the bank have pertaining to those issues that caused the collapse of SVB.

1) Landmark Bank does not have any exposure in the tech industry, nor do we invest or lend to these types of startup business which we view as a higher risk specialty industry.
2) Our balance sheet (loans & deposits) is very well diversified, and we have very little concentration in any specific industry, or with any small group of depositors.
3) Landmark Bank saw the same influx of deposits as did most banks in the country during 2020. However, management and the board made a conscious decision to avoid chasing very low yields on bond purchases at a time when loan demand had slowed and there were virtually no good options for deploying excess cash. We chose to forgo short term revenue, but instead focus on remaining very liquid and deploying cash to fund local loan growth as demand inevitability improved, protect our depositors, and invest in higher yielding options in the future based on our extensive due diligence and analysis on the overall economy. We have and continue prioritizing the long-term stability of our organization over short-term padding of revenue.
4) While we face the same challenges that all banks do regarding sharply rising rates, and increased costs of funds, we are positioned extraordinarily well to deal with these challenges. We retain a very strong liquidity, and capital position above our internal targets. The result of remaining so liquid during the low-rate years, is that we have been able to focus on our primary mission as a locally owned and operated community bank, by continuing to provide lending resources to families and small businesses within our footprint, instead of locking up long term funds and opening our stakeholders up to long term risk.

In short, Landmark Bank is strong and stable. Management and the board operate conservatively and prioritize fundamental banking practices over chasing yields or padding short term revenue at the expense of the long-term safety and soundness of our institution. We continue to focus on the long-term viability of our institution above all else, with an emphasis on our customers’ well-being. As such, we offer deposit solutions such as reciprocal deposits that can provide full FDIC coverage on deposits exceeding the current $250,000 FDIC limit, and we continue to offer competitive rates on deposit products, while continuing our commitment of providing loan access to continue the growth of small businesses, and families in the communities we serve.

The potential industry wide implications will likely be seen in a slowing of rate increases, which will likely ease any uncertainty in the broader economy and banking industry. Additionally, we expect tightened regulatory controls which can be costly, especially to smaller institutions. Regardless, management and the board have been proactive in its investment towards technology and key staff to ensure that any regulatory burdens will be faced by an extraordinarily skilled, and experienced staff. We continue to emphasize efficiency and functionality in our banking practices to ensure we can meet any challenge or change that arises, and as such, I feel confident in saying that Landmark Bank continues to be in one of the best positions we could possibly be in to continue our mission of service to our families, and our communities through our work.



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