Wisconsin Banking News

M&I issues home foreclosure moratorium
Milwaukee-based Marshall & Ilsley Corp. has instituted a system-wide moratorium on owner-occupied residential home mortgages. The foreclosure moratorium requires troubled home owners to work in good faith with the bank to reach a successful repayment agreement. The moratorium applies to home loans in all M&I markets and will be in effect until March 31, 2009.

"This recessionary economy is obviously challenging for many families as they try to balance the family budget each month," said Mark Furlong, president and chief executive officer of Marshall & Ilsley. "During these stressful economic times, M&I is committed to ensuring our customers have access to the resources and products that can enable them to stay in their homes."

The bank has also enhanced its mortgage foreclosure relief program by extending terms and rate reductions that can cut monthly payments. The bank also has created streamlined assistance programs.

"I am grateful to Marshall & Ilsley Corp. for taking this tremendous step toward keeping families in their homes as they work to get back on their financial feet," said Tom Barrett, mayor of Milwaukee. "With strong private partners like M&I, I am confident that significant progress can be made addressing the impact foreclosures are having on our neighborhoods and residents."

Town Bank’s parent company takes federal injection of funds

Wintrust Financial Corp., the publicly traded, Illinois-based corporate parent of Hartland-based Town Bank, announced it accepted a $250 million investment by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Capital Purchase Program. The program is intended to inject capital into healthy banks to stimulate commercial and retail lending.

The investment calls for the Treasury Department to buy $250 million in senior preferred shares at a $22.82 per share price over a 10-year period. The Treasury Department will eventually be able to sell the shares.

"With this additional capital from the Capital Purchase Program, our capital position is even stronger, and provides an excellent opportunity for our organization to more quickly return to our strategic growth plan," said Edward Wehmer, president and chief executive officer of Wintrust. "We look forward to using the proceeds from this sale for general corporate purposes which include additional capital to grow lending operations and to position Wintrust for additional market opportunities."

In addition to Town Bank, Wintrust holds 14 other community bank subsidiaries, most of which are based in Illinois.

First Business declares 7 cent dividend
First Business Financial Services Inc., the publicly traded corporate parent of First Business Bank-Milwaukee, recently declared a 7 cent per share quarterly dividend. The company’s annualized dividend of 28 cents per share is a 7.7 percent increase over its 2007 annualized dividend.

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