Coming off a weak first quarter, BancorpSouth Inc. in Tupelo, Miss., announced Tuesday that it would close or consolidate 23 underperforming branches this year.

The $13.5 billion-asset company said it would begin closing the branches in August and also hinted that more branches could be shuttered as it seeks to improve efficiency and trim overhead.

"Management believes this initiative is an important first step to streamline BancorpSouth's branch banking operations and to provide enhanced efficiency and production capabilities," the company said in a press release.

BancorpSouth has roughly 290 branches in eight states. By shuttering the 23 branches, located in Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas and Missouri, the company expects to save about $4.4 million a year.

It said that the volume of business conducted at these branches "has been limited, and there has not been sustained growth to support the normal and routine expenses" required to operate them.

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