Mortgage banking fuels revenues for Associated Bank

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Associated Banc-Corp reported first quarter net income of $46 million, or 27 cents per share, up from $41 million, or 24 cents per share, in the same quarter a year ago.

The Green Bay-based parent company of Associated Bank attributed the growth to a record quarter for mortgage banking and a continued focus on expense management.

Average loan balances grew by $317 million, an 8 percent increase year-over-year. The growth was mostly in the commercial and commercial real estate businesses.

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“We are pleased with our solid results this quarter and remain optimistic about our long term prospects,” said Associated Bank president and chief executive officer Philip Flynn.  “Our mortgage banking business had a very strong quarter and we remain focused on expense management.  We continue to execute on our long-term growth strategies with a focus on relationship banking for consumers and businesses, and remain disciplined in our approach to capital deployment through share buybacks and dividend payments.”

Average deposits were $17.1 billion, up 14 percent from a year ago. Capital ratios were strong, with a tier 1 common equity ratio of 11.64 percent.

Associated repurchased $30 million in common stock during the first quarter, at an average cost of $14.31.

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Associated expects earning asset yields to continue to compress and lowering deposit costs to become more challenging over the remainder of 2013, Flynn said.

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