GULFPORT, Miss., Nov. 7, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Hancock Holding Company (Nasdaq:HBHC) today announced that the holding company's board of directors has approved a plan to consolidate the legal charters of its two subsidiary banks (Hancock Bank and Whitney Bank) in the first quarter of 2014, pending receipt of required regulatory and bank board approvals. "The consolidation, which supports our previously announced expense and efficiency initiative, will significantly reduce the considerable cost and complexity of maintaining two separate bank charters in this current regulatory environment," said President and CEO Carl J. Chaney. "This change will have no noticeable impact on our customers, as the company will continue to do business under its two well-known brands, Whitney Bank in Louisiana and Texas and Hancock Bank in Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. Headquarters, executive leaders, and business and corporate departments will remain in Gulfport, New Orleans, and Baton Rouge." About Hancock Holding Company Hancock Holding Company is the parent company of Hancock Bank in Mississippi, Alabama and Florida, and Whitney Bank in Louisiana and Texas. The Hancock Holding Company family of financial services companies also includes Hancock Investment Services, Inc.; Hancock Insurance Agency and Whitney Insurance Agency, Inc.; and corporate trust offices in Gulfport and Jackson, Miss., New Orleans and Baton Rouge, La., and Orlando, Fla.; and Harrison Finance Company. Additional information is available at www.hancockbank.com and www.whitneybank.com . Forward-Looking Statements This news release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and we intend such forward-looking statements to be covered by the safe harbor provisions therein and are including this statement for purposes of invoking these safe-harbor provisions. Forward-looking statements provide projections of results of operations or of financial condition or state other forward-looking information, such as expectations about future conditions and descriptions of plans and strategies for the future.