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News Release-FBT Announces Loan Payment Deferrals

COVID-19 - Assisting our Customers


New Orleans, LA, March 23, 2020– First Bank and Trust announced today several support and relief measures designed to assist customers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic emergency.  Gary B. Blossman, Chief Executive Officer said,

As a locally owned community bank headquartered in New Orleans, Louisiana, we serve economies heavily dependent upon tourism throughout the southern Gulf Coast. We understand the impact COVID-19 is creating for our customers and employees.  As a result of mandatory business closures, businesses are reporting loss of revenue and furloughs, layoffs and/or curtailed employee hours are being announced daily.  We continue to monitor the federal government’s announcements regarding planned stimulus packages designed to bring relief for companies and workers alike.  Many of these government programs will be implemented through community banks like ours.  When finalized, we will assess guidelines to provide additional products and programs to help business and individuals make it through this historic global emergency.”

Steps the bank is taking to provide support and relief include:

  • Deferring payments on most loans for 90 days.  Deferred payments will not be reported as delinquent and no late fees will be assessed.  Letters will be mailed to customers explaining the terms of payment deferrals. 
  • With the exception of our New Orleans First Bank and Trust Tower location, we have suspended lobby access and ask our customers to call for appointments if they need access to safe deposit boxes or must meet with their bank officers in person. 
  • Drive-thru banking facilities are open with normal business hours.
  • As usual, there is no charge for customers using any FBT-owned or Community Cash network ATM.  Until further notice, we are waiving foreign ATM fees and refunding up to $3.00 per transaction for use of other ATMs.
  • Customers are encouraged to use 24 x 7 self-service options including ATMs, night depositories and the bank’s digital suite of products that includes online and mobile banking.

Additionally, the Bank has implemented CDC recommended guidance to protect the health of employees and customers.  Work from Home (WFH) arrangements have been made for those employees who can perform their job functions remotely.  Cleaning and sanitizing schedules have been increased at all bank facilities and employees have been instructed to stay home when sick, to wash their hands, cover coughs and sneezes, and practice social distancing.

Gary Blossman, Chief Executive Officer for First Bank and Trust added,

“The health and well-being of our customers, employees and the communities we serve are our top priority.  Although lobby access has been limited, bank staff stands ready to assist customers with any banking need at our drive-thru facilities, by phone, online or by appointment.  We will assist customers enroll in or expand their use of online or mobile banking, establish Direct Deposit and Bill Pay and are happy to instruct customers on how to fully utilize our 24/7 digital product line”. 

Customers are encouraged to follow updates that will be posted on the Bank’s website at or by following us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.


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If you would like more information about this release, please contact Terry Almon at 504-586-2742 or email at