After conversion, PNC plans branch, service expansion in metro Milwaukee

PNC plans to build new branches, hire more bankers and offer more services once conversion is complete in June

On Monday, June 14, the 25 branches of National City bank will re-open as PNC Bank branches. PNC announced its acquisition of National City in October, 2008 and has been converting branches since January.

“The last three waves (of conversion) have been successful,” said Beth Wnuk, PNC’s Wisconsin regional president. “We’re in the home stretch.”

National City completed its acquisition of MAF Bancorp, the holding company for MidAmerica Bank, in 2008. MAF Bancorp purchased St. Francis Capital Corp., the corporate parent of St. Francis Bank, in 2005.

Because there have been repeated name changes due to the acquisitions, PNC has been sending bankers for one-on-one meetings with commercial and corporate clients in recent weeks, Wnuk said.

“We’re talking about some of the changes in account management,” she said. “And we’re talking about post-conversion and how they’ll be back out to show them what the changes are.”

When the National City conversion is complete, PNC will begin implementing its expansion plans in metro Milwaukee. Although the bank is not releasing specific details about that plan, it is making one point clear.

“We want to be a top three bank in this market,” Wnuk said. “That will be deposits and infrastructure. This is on a three- to five-year horizon. We will begin this year to put up branches, with more work in 2011 and 2012.”

PNC will also be investing significantly in marketing to “make sure we get the optics right,” Wnuk said, as well as hiring experienced commercial lenders, wealth management professionals and other bankers

The bank believes that it will be able to achieve most of its growth organically, and does not believe that it will be acquiring another regional bank for growth purposes. And although its commercial and corporate banking services will be offered throughout the state, PNC will largely remain focused on metro Milwaukee and southeastern Wisconsin for its retail branches.

“Our first focus is Milwaukee and southeastern Wisconsin, that will be our main center of gravity,” Wnuk said. “We’re confident that our approach to organic growth will be successful and we’re now focused on building.”

In addition to building its physical presence larger, PNC will begin offering more commercial and corporate lending and wealth management services once the conversion is complete, Wnuk said.

“Our commitment (to the Milwaukee area) will be evidenced by the growth we will have achieved,” Wnuk said. “We’ll be presenting new options on the banking scene. Those (banking professionals) that are interested in being entrepreneurial and helping us build that story I think will be attracted to us.”


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