Commerce State Bank to open Sheboygan branch

West Bend-based Commerce State Bank has announced it will open a new branch in Sheboygan.
The branch will be the bank’s fourth location. Commerce State Bank, which was founded in 2005, has opened two of its three existing branches in the past year, in Cedarburg and Elm Grove. It also has a loan production office in Saukville.

The state and the FDIC have both approved the Sheboygan branch, which will be located at 4706 S. Taylor Drive. It is expected to open in November, and the company will hire nine new employees for the branch.

“Sheboygan is a vibrant, local community. The recent approval from both the state and the FDIC is fantastic news,” said Joe Fazio, chief executive officer of Commerce State Bank. “There is a tremendous opportunity for a local bank to serve the financial needs of businesspeople and homeowners. We have recruited an experienced team that has worked in this community for years (at the former Community Bank & Trust) and know the people here. Understanding the market is really important in order to serve the market. People like to bank with familiar faces.”

Community Bank & Trust was acquired by Dubuque, Iowa-based Heartland Financial USA Inc. and combined with Madison-based Wisconsin Bank & Trust, also a Heartland portfolio company, in January.

Commerce State Bank has expanded as a result of opportunities like that presented by the Community Bank & Trust acquisition and transition in Sheboygan.

“If you had asked us eight months ago, ‘Are you guys thinking about opening a branch in Sheboygan?’ we would have said ‘no,’” Fazio said.

The bank grew commercial loans by 19 percent in 2014, and expects another 20 percent commercial loan growth this year. The mortgage loan division has also seen rapid growth, Fazio said.

“(Mortgage loans are) up significantly for us over the last 12 to 18 months. Our revenues in that area will double year-over-year,” he said.

Commerce State Bank has more than $400 million in assets. It now has 61 employees.

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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