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Banker News

Northern group of Wisconsin Bankers Association holds annual meeting
Superior Telegram
Scott Ogren, executive vice president of Security State Bank in Iron River served as the 2011 president of Wisconsin Bankers Association (WBA) Group 1, recently organized, and managed the WBA Group 1 108th annual meeting Feb. 10-11 at the Radisson Hotel in Bloomington, Minn., and the Great Room in the Mall of America. Group One of WBA is made up of bankers in 20 counties located in northwestern Wisconsin. President Ogren scheduled educational and informative presentations provided by several financial authorities. Among them was Rose Oswald Poels, president and chief executive officer of the Wisconsin Bankers Association. She is the General Counsel to Financial Institution Products Corporation, the Law and Regulation in Banking Section leader for the Graduate School of Banking at the UW-Madison. The Group One business meetings culminated with President Scott Ogren passing the gavel to the 2012 President, Scott Krieger from Bankers Bank, Eau Claire, WI. Superior Telegram

Area foreclosure filings rose 7.2% in February
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
February foreclosure filings rose 7.2 percent in southeastern Wisconsin, driven by increases in Milwaukee, Kenosha, Racine and Washington counties. Milwaukee County recorded 527 filings, the fourth straight month that court actions by lenders have topped the 500 level after being below that mark for most of 2011. Economist Brian Jacobsen said foreclosure filings could rise again now that the government and some of the biggest mortgage servicers have come to a settlement over faulty procedures and legal problems with some foreclosure actions. "That was likely keeping the rate of foreclosures artificially low," he said. "I would not be surprised to see the pace pick up again." Jacobsen said Wisconsin is "in the middle of the pack when it comes to the number of foreclosures relative to the number of households." Ultimately, he said, the end of the foreclosure problem is "just a matter of time and jobs." Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The Chicago connection: Milwaukee-area firms value Windy City presence
Milwaukee Business Journal
In recent decades, Milwaukee-area manufacturers have received much attention for expanding to Southern states in search of cheaper non-union labor. But a quieter and closer southward expansion has been brewing for Milwaukee-based professional and financial firms. Downtown Chicago has become the land of opportunity for a select and successful group of Milwaukee firms. In the skyscrapers of Chicago's Loop and just north of the Loop, Milwaukee-based firms are grabbing their share of Chicago's economic colossus. Milwaukee and Wisconsin businesses have grown in Chicago via mergers and acquisitions with Chicago firms and by recruiting existing Chicago talent. They are taking advantage of consolidations or sales of larger firms, especially in the banking and finance industries. Milwaukee Business Journal

Milton looking to lure new businesses
Janesville Gazette
Milton city officials are hoping a couple of new economic development plans will help lure new businesses to the city and give existing businesses more of a say in city policy. City Administrator Jerry Schuetz said the city plans this year to partner with two local lenders to start a small business loan program that will help new businesses relocate to Milton. The program would set up a $25,000 fund split between the city and the two banks. It would provide loans in the $5,000 range. The city council approved the program last year. It likely will start this year pending an agreement between the city and the Bank of Milton and First Community Bank, the two local lenders that would help fund it. It's a small-scale incentive, but in the face of a fragile economic recovery and tight lending standards, the loan program could be a difference maker. Janesville Gazette

Recall elections likely to be held in June
Wisconsin State Journal
Wisconsin's historic recall elections probably won't happen until early June. State election officials said in a memo Thursday that they could schedule Wisconsin's recall primaries as soon as May 1, and general elections by May 29. But they said they want to avoid conflicts with the May 28 Memorial Day holiday and need to give municipal clerks enough time to complete their work on the April 3 spring election and presidential primary before preparing for recalls. The Government Accountability Board said Thursday that it may still request more time to in order to review petitions. Walker had until late Monday to challenge the signatures against him, but he opted not to, saying his campaign did not have the time it needed to finish its review. "There just was not enough time to accomplish it," Walker campaign spokeswoman Ciara Matthews said. The GAB has until March 19 to decide whether enough valid signatures have been filed for the recall elections to go forward under the current timeline. Wisconsin State Journal

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