After a deal to buy a competitor fell apart last year, Home Federal Savings and Loan Association of Shreveport, La., had to come up with another way to jump-start its growth.

Now the $150 million-asset thrift is working to develop commercial lending as a new line of business. Last month it brought on a team of commercial bankers from Regions Financial Corp. of Birmingham, Ala., and made one of them, James Barlow, its president and chief operating officer.

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