Wisconsin Bank Profits Declined in 2016

Wisconsin’s federally insured banks reported $1.1 billion in net income in 2016, down from $1.2 billion in 2015, according to the latest Quarterly Banking Profile from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

The number of commercial banks and savings institutions reporting to the FDIC also declined year-over-year, from 243 as of Dec. 31, 2015 to 222 as of Dec. 31, 2016. The reporting banks had 21,661 employees, down from 22,202 at the end of 2015. That’s partly because the number of Wisconsin banks continues to fall, with several high-profile mergers taking place among the state’s community banks as they seek economies of scale and carry out succession plans.

The institutions had $108.9 billion in total assets as of Dec. 31, up from $106.9 billion at the same point in 2015. Deposits totaled $87 billion, up from $86.1 billion at the end of 2015.

Lending was up in 2016. Loans and leases totaled $77.5 billion, up from $74.8 billion in the fourth quarter of 2015. The state’s banks reported a net loans and leases to assets condition ratio of 70.14, up from 68.97 at the end of 2015.

“Wisconsin banks continue to move forward despite a wide variety of obstacles challenging the industry, such as a prolonged low interest rate environment; compliance and technology costs escalating every year; and the number of bank mergers in Wisconsin continuing to increase (21 mergers were announced in 2016 compared to 12 in 2015, which was considered a large number at the time),” said Rose Oswald Poels, president and chief executive officer of the Wisconsin Bankers Association.

“The latest FDIC numbers continue to highlight the fact that the diversity of Wisconsin’s strong banking industry directly benefits Wisconsin consumers. Wisconsin banks remain committed to helping businesses grow and families prosper, creating thriving communities. Our institutions are healthy, well-capitalized and ready to help keep our economy growing.”

Individually, Green Bay-based Associated Bank NA brought in the highest profit in 2016, with $225.3 million for the year. The bank has $29.1 billion in total assets.

Madison-based John Deere Financial f.s.b. had the second-highest profits, with $83.5 million in 2016. It has assets of $2.5 billion.

Racine-based Johnson Bank came in third, with $30 million in 2016 profits. It has $4.5 billion in assets.

Wauwatosa’s WaterStone Bank SSB was fourth, with $26.3 million in profits for the year and $1.8 billion in assets.

And rounding out the top five was Fond Du Lac-based National Exchange Bank and Trust, with $25.5 million in 2016 profits and $2 billion in assets.

Milwaukee-based Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management, usually a mainstay in the top five earning banks in the state, was in sixth place with $25.1 million in profit for the year. It has $218.4 million in assets.