Associated Bank (copy)

Associated Bank, whose Sun Prairie branch is shown here, reported the highest earnings among Wisconsin banks in the third quarter of 2017.  

ASSOCIATED BANK

Wisconsin banks reported higher profits and shrinking loan losses in the third quarter, as they continued to outperform banks around the nation as a whole.

The 212 Wisconsin banks and savings institutions insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. earned a combined $326 million in the third quarter that ended Sept. 30, up 13 percent from their combined $288 million net income for the same period last year.

Nationwide, FDIC-insured banks had a total net income of $47.9 billion, up 5.2 percent from the previous year.

It's the second consecutive quarter that Wisconsin banks saw a higher percentage rise in earnings than the nationwide average. In the April-June quarter, banks across the state reported a 12.6 percent increase in net income while nationwide, aggregate bank profits for the quarter rose 10.7 percent over the previous year.

For the first nine months of 2017, Wisconsin banks reported combined earnings of $891 million, a 10.5 percent increase over the first nine months of 2016.

Loans and leases, as of Sept. 30, totaled $81.5 billion statewide, 5 percent higher than they were a year ago, at $77.6 billion.

"Wisconsin banks continue their important role as key drivers of our state's economy with loan growth continuing in the third quarter," said Rose Oswald Poels, president and CEO of the Wisconsin Bankers Association.

Associated Bank, Green Bay, the largest bank based in Wisconsin, continued to top the earnings list with net income of $71.5 million in the third quarter, followed by Johnson Bank, Racine, $9.3 million; Nicolet National Bank, Green Bay, $9 million; and WaterStone Bank, Wauwatosa, $7.4 million, among the state's full-service banks.

Only 1.4 percent of Wisconsin banks were not profitable at the end of September compared with 2.6 percent a year ago. Noncurrent loans and leases made up 0.88 percent of all loans and leases, down from 1.14 percent at the same time last year.

Nationwide, 3.9 percent of banks and savings institutions were unprofitable in the third quarter, the FDIC said.

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