Banking news

Banking news

Bank Mutual returns to profitability
Bank Mutual Corp., which is now the largest Milwaukee-based bank, reported net income of $1.4 million, 3 cents per share for the fourth quarter, which was an improvement from a net loss of $76.4 million, or $1.68 per share, in the same period a year ago.
Results for the fourth quarter of 2010 included a loss on early repayment of borrowings from the Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) of Chicago, as well as an elevated level of provision for loan losses.
Bank Mutual Corp. also announced that its non-performing loans declined by $14.7 million, or 16.3 percent, during the fourth quarter of 2011, and by $47.8 million, or 38.9 percent during the entire year.
On a full-year basis, Bank Mutual had a net loss of $47.6 million, or $1.03 per diluted share in 2011, which included a non-cash goodwill impairment of $52.6 million in the second quarter. The goodwill impairment had no effect on the liquidity, operations, tangible capital, or regulatory capital of Bank Mutual or its subsidiary bank.
Michael Crowley Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of Bank Mutual, said, "The difficult decision we made to prepay over $750 million in FHLB borrowings in the fourth quarter of last year was rewarded in 2011. Excluding the goodwill impairment in the second quarter, our earnings increased in every quarter of 2011, due in part to a significant improvement in our net interest income."
David Baumgarten, president of Bank Mutual, added, "Improvements in credit administration that we implemented earlier in the year also paid off in 2011. Our non-performing loans declined substantially during the year and we remain cautiously optimistic for 2012. Reduction of non-performing loans and real estate will continue to be top priorities in 2012."

Associated Banc-Corp caps year with strong quarter

Associated Banc-Corp, the Green Bay-based parent company of Associated Bank, reported fourth quarter net income to common shareholders of $40 million, or 23 cents per share, up from $34 million, or 20 cents per share, in the same period a year ago.
For the full year, the company reported net income to common shareholders of $115 million, or 66 cents per share, up from a net loss to common shareholders of $30 million, or 18 cents per share for the previous year.
"We are pleased with the results and accomplishments achieved over the past year. We have been serving our customers for 150 years and remain committed to meeting their needs. We believe that results from the fourth quarter reflect both our core franchise strength and our ability to deliver value to customers and shareholders," said Associated president and CEO Philip Flynn.

BMO Harris Bank to lay off 350

BMO Harris Bank announced it is eliminating 350 jobs over the next three months, including about 157 in the greater Milwaukee area.
In total, about 200 Wisconsin employees of the company will lose their jobs.
Most of the jobs to be eliminated are administrative and back-office positions. The company is contracting with outside vendors to perform many of those functions and hopes that some of the affected employees will find jobs with the vendors, according to Jim Kappel, vice president of BMO Harris Bank.
Kappel said the total layoffs account for about 2 percent of the company’s 16,000 employees in the United States.
BMO Harris currently has about 365 open positions, including about 95 in Wisconsin, and hopes that some of the affected employees also can be considered for those jobs.
“This is not a decision we take lightly. We understand these changes will result in the loss of positions; however, we are doing our best to support employees in impacted positions. For some people, they are being offered positions by our vendors; for others, they can apply for our open positions,” Kappel said. “All employees whose positions are affected are also eligible for a severance plan and an outplacement program that includes help with developing resumes, interviewing skills, career counseling and access to job search resources.”
BMO Harris acquired Milwaukee-based Marshall & Ilsley Corp., the parent company of M&I Bank, last July.
Since the completion of the merger, BMO Harris has hired close to 120 people in the greater Milwaukee area, mostly in the roles hired of personal bankers, customer service representatives and credit analysts, Kappel said.

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