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Public Continues to Place Their Trust in Banks

Banks continue to be a safe place for consumers to keep their money, as evidenced by a 10.42% year-over-year (YoY) climb in deposits from Q3 2020 to Q3 2021. Net loans and leases have seen a slight increase quarter over quarter from Q2 to Q3 of 2021 (0.62%), led largely by an increase in residential loans. A notable downward trend of noncurrent loans and leases (-32.76% Q3 YoY) highlights the financial health of borrowers and their ability to repay their loans. The economy continues to show positive signs of rebound for banks and consumers in the state alike.

Statement on the release of third-quarter 2021 Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) numbers from Rose Oswald Poels, president and CEO of the Wisconsin Bankers Association:

“A slight increase seen quarter over quarter continues a positive, albeit slow upward trend in lending, led primarily by real estate lending. In terms of business lending, trends reflect business owners’ caution with their borrowing needs. While some businesses have fewer borrowing needs due to government stimulus funding and the Paycheck Protection Program, other business owners are more hesitant to borrow due to supply chain issues and worker shortages that are hindering their abilities to grow.” 

FDIC-Reported Wisconsin Numbers (Dollar Figures in Thousands)

   9/30/2021  6/30/2021  QoQ Change  9/30/2020  YoY Change 
Net loans and leases  93,094,545  92,517,179  0.62%  95,421,724  -2.44% 
Total deposits  115,910,175  112,163,897  3.34%  104,974,630  10.42% 
Commercial and industrial loans  15,937,802  17,112,381  -6.86%  20,794,154  -23.35% 
Residential loans  22,778,040  22,568,675  0.93%  23,396,775  -2.64% 
Farmland loans  3,552,841  3,544,220  0.24%  3,530,046  0.65% 
Farm loans  4,411,240  4,272,003  3.26%  4,786,095  -7.83% 
Total assets  141,975,630  138,249,203  2.70%  133,465,411  6.38% 
Noncurrent loans and leases  517,173  546,518  -5.37%  769,135  -32.76% 
LEAD360_Banner

Rose Oswald Poels (left) awards Dena Hineline (center) and Sue Krause (right) with prestigious awards.

On Wednesday morning, fourteen Wisconsin bankers and ten banks were honored by the Wisconsin Bankers Foundation (WBF) for their efforts in promoting financial literacy to Wisconsin’s consumers. WBF is the nonprofit arm of the Wisconsin Bankers Association (WBA) whose mission is to assist bankers in promoting financial literacy and financial responsibility to the public and to broaden consumer empowerment in the financial services industry through research, education, grants, and scholarships.

Sue Krause, Fox Valley Savings Bank, was awarded the prestigious Financial Literacy Banker of the Year Award and Dena Hineline, Bank of Sun Prairie, was honored with the Financial Literacy Banker Award. Both Krause and Hineline also were honored with the Certificate of Excellence for exceeding twenty financial education presentations in their local communities during the Foundation’s 2020–2021 fiscal year.

Twelve individuals received a Certificate of Recognition completing at least five financial education presentations. This year’s recipients are Pam Blattner, Jimmy Kauffman, and Rob Stelzer, Bank of Sun Prairie; Kelley Jensen and Amy Shorougian, Citizens Bank in Mukwonago; Joshua Pauling, Farmers State Bank of Waupaca; Rachael Danielson, Ryma Lindquist, and Erik Thompson, First Bank of Baldwin; Craig Much, Horicon Bank; and Beth Durow and Julie Matthews, The Stephenson National Bank & Trust.

Rose Oswald Poels (left) recognizes several award recipients at WBA’s LEAD360 on November 17.

The WBF Excellence in Financial Education Award was presented to 10 WBA-member banks for their bank-wide dedication to financial education during the 2020–2021 fiscal year which encouraged over 270 bankers to get involved for the wellbeing of their communities. The banks awarded include Bank of Sun Prairie, Citizens Bank in Mukwonago, Farmers State Bank of Waupaca, First Bank of Baldwin, Fox Valley Savings Bank, Horicon Bank, National Exchange Bank and Trust, Peoples State Bank – Prairie du Chien, PremierBank – Fort Atkinson, and The Stephenson National Bank & Trust.

The outstanding efforts of all honorees were celebrated at the recent WBA LEAD360 Conference held in Wisconsin Dells. During the 2020–2021 fiscal year, these fourteen individuals and 10 banks helped WBF expand its financial education reach to nearly 6,000 people throughout the state. As a result of the pandemic, many bankers have come up with creative ways to advocate for the importance of financial literacy to consumers of all ages.

“These individuals have truly gone above and beyond in the last year to ensure that Wisconsin communities continue to have access to invaluable financial education,” said Chair of the Wisconsin Bankers Foundation Rose Oswald Poels. “We thank everyone that participated for their commitment to their communities and their overall dedication in leading the strive towards a more financially responsible state!”

Class of 2021

Five individuals were honored by the Wisconsin Bankers Association for their excellence in banking, community service, and civic involvement. A celebration was held on Friday, October 29 at the WBA headquarters in Madison, where a Leaders in Banking Excellence Wall installation displays a tribute to outstanding current and former bankers. The wall was established in 2020, and the five Class of 2021 honorees join the 12 inaugural honorees.

“These leaders have made significant contributions to Wisconsin’s banking industry and to the economic wellbeing of our state,” said Rose Oswald Poels, WBA president and CEO. “Part of what makes them exceptional leaders is that they have inspired others to succeed in their professions and in service to their communities.”

The honorees in the 2021 Leaders in Banking Excellence class are: Jon Bernander, Bank of Wisconsin Dells; Robert Gorsuch, Oak Bank, Fitchburg; Mary L. Staudenmaier, The Stephenson National Bank & Trust (SNBT), Marinette; John Godfrey Thomson, The Bank of New Glarus; and Merlin E. Zitzner, Baraboo State Bank.

Read the bios of each of the 2021 Leaders in Banking Excellence honorees.

Wisconsin Bankers Association Opposes Assembly Bill 478, Which Would Expand Authorized Activities and Powers of Credit Unions

At today’s hearing of the Assembly Committee on Financial Institutions, the Wisconsin Bankers Association and member bankers from around the state expressed opposition to Assembly Bill 478, which would provide credit unions with even more tools to grow beyond the intention of their original chartered mission much to the detriment of Wisconsin’s taxpaying banks and citizens.

In the early history of the existence of credit unions, they were either employer-based or focused on serving well-defined neighborhoods to serve consumers of modest means, which is the rationale for their income tax-exempt status. It is not difficult today for almost anyone to become eligible for membership in one of Wisconsin’s growth-oriented $1 billion and larger credit unions. In the past eight years, Wisconsin has seen the acquisition of five tax-paying community banks to large credit unions, which translates to a direct loss of tax revenue for the State of Wisconsin.

“Continuing to require that credit unions only do business with members is inherent in the public policy rationale behind which the tax exemption is given,” testified WBA President and CEO Rose Oswald Poels. “Making a substantive change to this foundational public policy principle as proposed in AB 478 should then also call into question, as other states have, the state tax exemption.”

“In Wisconsin, there are 13 credit unions that are over $1 billion in asset size that compete daily with banks like mine across the state. The services offered are no different than those offered by banks, and yet the credit unions enjoy a significant advantage in their income tax-exempt status,” testified Capitol Bank President and CEO and WBA Board Chair Ken Thompson. “Capitol Bank regularly experiences competition from growth-oriented credit unions operating in our market. . . Competition is normally healthy and good for consumers when all parties involved operate on a level playing field. However, that is not the case with the credit union industry.”

Joining WBA on a letter respectfully opposing Assembly Bill 478 as drafted are 87 banks from around the state. The letter explains that taxpayers can no longer afford to continue subsidizing the credit union industry; the goal is to have these large, aggressive credit unions return to their original mission or become subject to the same regulatory, supervisory, and tax requirements as banks.

The Wisconsin Bankers Association (WBA) is pleased to announce the hire of Lorenzo Cruz as Vice President – Government Relations. Cruz brings over three decades of experience to the role and will lead WBA’s advocacy efforts, primarily at the state level.

“Lorenzo is a top professional in the field of government relations, and we are very happy to have him join our association,” said Rose Oswald Poels, WBA president and CEO. “We look forward to what he will be able to accomplish together with our members on behalf of Wisconsin’s banking industry and economy.”

Cruz began his career working in the Wisconsin State Legislature for two former Majority Leaders. He went on to lobby for two decades in the telecom sector — notably for Ameritech and CenturyLink — and has federal, state, and local experience working on regulatory, legislative, and procurement issues important to the telecommunications and technology industry. Most recently, he was president of his own consulting firm, which specialized in lobbying, regulatory advising, grassroots advocacy, and member relations. Cruz is known as a respected government relations professional, who is successful in reaching across political aisles and building coalitions to achieve positive results.

Cruz earned his degree in political science and history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  He served as a chair and board member of several state telecommunications and broadband associations in the Midwest and is active locally with the Madison 56er Soccer Board.

Cruz and his wife currently reside in Fitchburg and have three adult children. He enjoys fishing, hunting, golfing, and watching his children play collegiate soccer for UW-Madison and UW-Green Bay. He has two dogs and is an avid fan of the Packers, Badgers, Brewers, and Bucks.

By, Cassie Krause

ROI Rockstar BadgeRecognition highlights company’s top performance in utilizing Cvent’s event marketing and management platform to deliver impactful event experiences and drive positive business results

The Wisconsin Bankers Association (WBA) received top honors this week at the 2021 Cvent Excellence Awards. Winners were announced during a live in-person ceremony in Las Vegas at CAESARS FORUM as part of Cvent CONNECT, Cvent’s annual customer conference. The event was also broadcast to a global virtual audience of meetings, events, and hospitality professionals. WBA won first place in the category of ROI Rockstar, highlighting its effective use of Cvent technology to drive revenue growth and maintain business momentum using creative tactics during challenging times. Nominees in this category are realizing measurable ROI, whether for virtual, hybrid, or in-person events, and are setting and exceeding goals, automating event communications, and maximizing attendance and engagement.

“The Cvent Excellence Awards have always been about celebrating our customers, and it’s an honor to share the global Cvent CONNECT stage with them to recognize their successes,” said Cvent CMO Patrick Smith. “These award-winning organizations, event professionals, and marketers have embraced technology as a critical part of their roles and will help pave the way to a future where we believe events are more engaging and more impactful than ever before.”

“Our team at WBA takes a lot of pride in creating an outstanding event experience from beginning to end for our members,” said WBA President and CEO Rose Oswald Poels. “We are honored to be recognized by Cvent for our use of technology in the conferences, trainings, and events we host.”

The awards program, hosted by meetings, events, and hospitality technology provider Cvent, is now in its ninth year and recognizes industry leaders from a diverse set of organizations who use Cvent technology in new and inspiring ways to deliver best-in-class in-person, virtual, and hybrid events. Winners were selected from hundreds of submissions and embody the best in their respective industries.  

By, Cassie Krause

WBA Releases Results of Bank CEO Economic Conditions Survey

MADISON, Wis. – In the Wisconsin Bankers Association's biannual Economic Conditions Survey of Wisconsin bank CEOs, 76 percent of respondents rated the current economy at "good," followed by 15 percent at "excellent" and 10 percent at "fair." This marks a positive change from the end of 2020 when the survey was last conducted and 58 percent of respondents rated the economy at "fair," followed by 38 percent at "good," 3 percent at "excellent," and 1 percent at "poor."

"Wisconsin bank CEOs are in a unique position to provide insight on the economy because they see the day-to-day happenings with their customers and put that knowledge together with data and industry expertise," said WBA President and CEO Rose Oswald Poels. "It is very encouraging to see the economy improving as people begin to resume their spending on products and leisure activities in ways they were unable or hesitant to do six months or a year ago."

Many bank CEOs linked favorable economic conditions to pent-up demand for goods and services as COVID-19 restrictions lift, with government stimulus money, low unemployment, low interest rates, and savings built up from staying home bolstering consumer confidence. Commonly cited sources of economic concern, on the other hand, were workforce shortages, supply chain issues, and uncertainty surrounding COVID-19.

Wisconsin's economy will continue to grow over the next six months, predict 48 percent of respondents, while 39 percent predict it will stay the same and 13 percent predict it will weaken.

The survey was conducted the last two weeks of July with 62 respondents. Sums may not equal 100 percent due to rounding. Below is a breakdown of the survey questions and responses.

How would you rate the current health of the Wisconsin economy. . .

 

Excellent

15%

Good

76%

Fair

10%

Poor

0%

 

 

In the next six months, do you expect the Wisconsin economy to. . .

 

Grow

48%

Weaken

39%

Stay the same

13%

 

 

Rate the current demand in the following categories:

 

Business loans

 

Excellent

10%

Good

30%

Fair

52%

Poor

8%

 

 

Commercial real estate

 

Excellent

13%

Good

44%

Fair

33%

Poor

10%

 

 

Residential real estate

 

Excellent

40%

Good

48%

Fair

12%

Poor

0%

 

 

Agricultural

 

Excellent

2%

Good

34%

Fair

56%

Poor

8%

 

 

In the next six months, do you anticipate the demand for the following loan categories will. . .

 

Business loans

 

Grow

43%

Weaken

7%

Stay the same

51%

 

 

Commercial real estate

 

Grow

31%

Weaken

8%

Stay the same

31%

 

 

Residential real estate

 

Grow

14%

Weaken

41%

Stay the same

46%

 

 

Agricultural

 

Grow

18%

Weaken

6%

Stay the same

76%

 

 

In the next six months, are the businesses in your bank’s market area likely to. . .

 

Hire employees

82%

Maintain current staffing levels

15%

Lay off employees

3%

 

 

In the next six months, is your bank likely to. . .

 

Hire employees

48%

Maintain current staffing levels

45%

Lay off employees

6%

 

 

In general, how would you say the pandemic has affected your business customers?

 

Very positively

10%

Positively

34%

No impact

16%

Negatively

39%

Very negatively

2%

 

 

In general, how would you say the pandemic has affected your retail customers?

 

Very positively

3%

Positively

37%

No impact

17%

Negatively

41%

Very negatively

2%

 

 

 

By, Cassie Krause

Cronin_headshotJohn Cronin has been promoted to director – government relations at the Wisconsin Bankers Association (WBA). Cronin joined WBA in December of 2020 as assistant director – government relations.

“John quickly proved himself to be an effective and hard-working advocate for Wisconsin’s banking industry,” said Rose Oswald Poels, WBA president and CEO. “In his new role, he will continue to be a leading voice for more than 20,000 bank employees in Wisconsin and the communities they serve.”

As director – government relations, Cronin will work primarily at the state level to further WBA advocacy priorities, which include preventing elder financial exploitation, supporting rural communities through ECORA (Enhancing Credit Opportunities in Rural America) legislation, and regulatory modernization.

Cronin spent the first eight years of his career in the Wisconsin State Assembly where he worked for Rep. Mark Born from 2013–18 and for now-former Rep. John Nygren from 2018–20. Both Representatives were members of the budget-writing Joint Finance Committee, so Cronin's primary focus over four years was state budget policy. He has extensive research and consensus-building experience and in-depth knowledge of the legislative, budget, and rulemaking processes.

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About the Wisconsin Bankers Association
Founded in 1892, WBA is the state’s largest financial industry trade association, representing more than 200 commercial banks and savings institutions, their branches, and over 21,000 employees. The Association represents banks of all sizes in Wisconsin, and nearly 98 percent of banks in the state are WBA members.

 

By, Cassie Krause

Twelve individuals are being honored by the Wisconsin Bankers Association for their excellence in banking, community service, and civic involvement. A celebration for this inaugural class was held on June 4 at the WBA headquarters in Madison, where a newly-built Leaders in Banking Excellence Wall installation displays a tribute to the selected current and former bankers. The event had been postponed from the fall of 2020 due to the pandemic.

“These leaders have helped shape Wisconsin’s banking industry into what it is today,” said Rose Oswald Poels, WBA president and CEO. “They exemplify the values of our association:  highest ethics, professionalism, and enthusiastic service to our industry and to our state. It is my privilege to host an honor wall of this type at our WBA headquarters in Madison.”

The honorees in the 2020 Leaders in Banking Excellence are:  Paul C. Adamski, The Pineries Bank, Stevens Point; James K. Caldwell, First Citizens State Bank, Whitewater; the late James S. Dolister, Capitol Bank, Madison; the Eager Family, the former Union Bank & Trust Company, Evansville; Thomas F. Farrell, Peoples State Bank, Prairie du Chien; the late John F. (Jack) Kundert, the former Bank One, Monroe; E. David Locke, the former McFarland State Bank; Richard (Dick) Pamperin, Premier Community Bank, Marion; Steven R. Schowalter, Port Washington State Bank; Frederick F. Schwertfeger, Horicon Bank; Jerry Smith, First Business Bank, Madison; and the late Thomas M. Tubbs, Bank of Sun Prairie.

To learn more about each of the 2020 Leaders in Banking Excellence honorees, please visit www.wisbank.com/excellence2020/.

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About the Wisconsin Bankers Association
Founded in 1892, WBA is the state’s largest financial industry trade association, representing more than 200 commercial banks and savings institutions, their branches, and over 21,000 employees. The Association represents banks of all sizes in Wisconsin, and nearly 98 percent of banks in the state are WBA members.

By, Cassie Krause

MADISON – Ken Thompson, president and CEO of Capitol Bank, has been elected to serve as the 2021–2022 board chair of the Wisconsin Bankers Association (WBA).

The Wisconsin Bankers Association is the state’s largest financial industry trade association, representing more than 200 commercial banks and savings institutions, their branches, and over 21,000 employees.

“Ken brings decades of banking experience and a wealth of knowledge to the WBA Board,” said Rose Oswald Poels, WBA president and CEO. “He will do an excellent job of leading our Board and industry forward in the post-pandemic economy.”

Thompson has been in the Madison banking industry for over 35 years, joining Capitol Bank in 1996. He has extensive experience in all areas of lending. Thompson was named president in 2003 and serves on the bank’s board of directors. Thompson holds a bachelor’s degree in business from UW-Stevens Point and earned his MBA from UW-Madison in 1997. He completed the Graduate School of Banking in Madison in 2004 and is a graduate of Leadership Greater Madison #2. Community involvement is greatly valued by Thompson, displayed by years of working with a variety of local nonprofits including American Family Children’s Hospital, Agrace Hospice Care (treasurer), Catholic Charities, and the Breakfast Optimist Club of Madison. Thompson also serves on the boards for Hy Cite Enterprises and Extreme Engineering. Thompson enjoys spending time with his wife and two children, especially outdoors. His pastimes include golf, racquetball, and hunting.

Also serving as officers on the WBA Board are: Chair-Elect Dan Peterson, president and CEO of The Stephenson National Bank & Trust, Marinette; Vice Chair Donna Hoppenjan, president and CEO of Mound City Bank, Platteville; and Past Chair Paul Kohler, president and CEO of Charter Bank, Eau Claire.

Joining the board for three-year terms are Greg Ogren, president of Security Bank, Iron River; Jay Mack, president and CEO of Town Bank, N.A., Hartland; and Dan Ravenscroft, president and CEO of Royal Bank, Elroy.

Those continuing their terms on the board are: Al Araque, SVP, director of consumer and private banking, Johnson Financial Group, Racine; Jim Chatterton, president and CEO, National Exchange Bank & Trust, Fond du Lac; Mark Erickson, regional president, MidWestOne Bank, Osceola; Timothy Kotnour, president and CEO, State Bank Financial, La Crosse; Paul Northway, president and CEO, American National Bank – Fox Cities, Appleton; Joe Peikert, president and CEO, Wolf River Community Bank, Hortonville; Jenny Provancher, president and CEO, The Equitable Bank, S.S.B., Wauwatosa; Terry Rosengarten, president and COO, Unity Bank, Augusta; and Mark Wierman, president and chief lending officer, Ixonia Bank.

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About the Wisconsin Bankers Association
Founded in 1892, WBA is the state’s largest financial industry trade association, representing more than 200 commercial banks and savings institutions, their branches, and over 21,000 employees. The Association represents banks of all sizes in Wisconsin, and nearly 98 percent of banks in the state are WBA members.

By, Cassie Krause