Commerce State Bank declines TARP funds
West Bend-based Commerce State Bank’s board of directors has voted to decline federal Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funding and instead plans to raise funds by embarking on a third shareholder recruitment campaign.
Joe Fazio, chairman and chief executive officer of Commerce State Bank, said, "In theory, the TARP program is a good one; however, the program is misunderstood … as a bailout."
Fazio noted that many other banks are returning and/or declining TARP funds.
In addition to the confusion, the terms and conditions for the program keep changing, Fazio said.
"We’re a local, Midwestern company," Fazio said. "It may not make many headlines, but we’ll work hard and build our business by serving our clients and helping them build their businesses and personal wealth. Free market capitalism works … we are going to stay with it. That’s why we’re seeking additional shareholders."
Commerce State Bank opened in 2005 and has grown to $295 million in assets. The bank’s new headquarters is located along Highway 45. The bank will open a new branch in Cedarburg soon.