A lot of Midwesterners are associated with Associated Banc-Corp, the holding company for Associated Bank.One of the largest banks based in Wisconsin, the operates about 250 branches in that state, as well as Illinois and Minnesota. Catering to consumers and local businesses, it offers deposit accounts, loans, mortgage banking, credit and debit cards, and leasing. The bank's wealth management division offers investments, trust services, brokerage, insurance, and employee group benefits plans. Commercial loans, including agricultural, construction, and real estate loans, make up nearly 60% of bank's loan portfolio. The bank also writes residential mortgages, consumer loans, and home equity loans.
Hampered by one of the worst economic environments in recent history, the bank saw increase in nonperforming loans (particularly business- and housing-related loans), and more than tripled its provision for loan losses from 2008 to 2009. The company cut its losses in 2010 and nearly turned a profit as it concentrated on improving its credit quality. It moved away from construction lending, and its nonperforming loans and its provisions for loan losses decreased.
Even though 2011 revenues were down, Associated Banc-Corp returned to profitability as credit quality continued to improve. The company hopes to keep the momentum going via organic growth, including increasing its fee income and commercial deposits, among other measures. It is also remodeling or relocating many of its branches. – less