Marine Credit Union gets go-ahead to buy five Bank Mutual branches

Transaction to close Aug. 25

The Bank Mutual branch on Douglas Avenue in Racine, which will be acquired by Marine Credit Union this month.

La Crosse-based Marine Credit Union has received regulatory approval for its purchase of five Bank Mutual branches in Kenosha, Racine and Sheboygan. The transaction will close Aug. 25 and the branches will reopen as Marine Credit Union on Aug. 28.

The Bank Mutual branch on Douglas Avenue in Racine, which will be acquired by Marine Credit Union this month.

The companies announced the purchase in April. The branches are located at: 6310 Green Bay Road in Kenosha; 5133 Douglas Ave. in Racine; 3039 S. Green Bay Road in Racine; 801 N. Eighth St. in Sheboygan; and 730 N. Ninth St. in Sheboygan. The sale includes $52.6 million in deposits and $13.2 million in loans at those branches. There are about 20 employees among the five branches, all of whom Marine plans to hire.

With the branch purchase, Marine Credit Union is adding Walworth County to its service area, and about 3,000 customers. After the deal closes, Marine will have 33 branches serving 60,000 members in Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota. It has about 420 employees, about 60 of whom are in the Milwaukee market. The credit union focuses on lending to underserved communities, or those turned down by traditional financial institutions. It has grown recently as demand for its loans has increased, and now has about $110 million in its Milwaukee-area loan portfolio.

With the branch sale, Brown Deer-based Bank Mutual Corp. will no longer have branches in the Racine, Kenosha and Sheboygan markets. But it will open a new residential loan office in the Racine/Kenosha area to house a loan officer in that market. In April, Bank Mutual also made plans to consolidate two other retail branches, in Monona and Neenah, into existing branches nearby. Together, the changes are expected to cost $250,000, but result in a $1.3 million annual net benefit to pre-tax earnings.

After the deal closes, Bank Mutual will have 57 branches in Wisconsin and one branch in Minnesota. But there will likely be other branch changes down the road, as Bank Mutual is in the process of being acquired by Green Bay-based Associated Banc-Corp. About half of the banks’ branches are within one mile of each other, so branch closures are expected.

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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