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Associated Bank to Close 20 Branches, One in MN

The Green Bay, Wisconsin-based company plans to close the branches-including one in Rochester-in the first few months of 2012.

Green Bay, Wisconsin-based bank holding company Associated Banc-Corporation announced Friday that it plans to close down 20 Associated Bank branches in its three-state region of operation-Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Illinois.

Among those slated to cease operations is the bank's Crossroads Drive location in Rochester, plus 16 branches in Wisconsin and three in Illinois.

The bank holding company said that the branches will close by the beginning of the second quarter of 2012.

Another branch in Madison, Wisconsin closed December 15 because the grocery store in which it was located closed.

The company said that it decided to close the 20 locations after it evaluated its footprint and found that the most of the branches are located within two miles of other Associated Bank locations. The closings also were necessitated by "the changing regulatory and competitive environment," the bank added.

Associated Bank spokeswoman Jennifer Kaminski told Twin Cities Business that the company can't say how many employees will be affected by the closings yet because it will try to transition "as many employees as possible" to other Associated Bank locations.

Associated Banc-Corporation has assets totaling $22 billion. It operates 270 Associated Bank branches-including 25 in Minnesota. It is among Minnesota's top 25 SBA lenders based on the value of loans made to Minnesota companies, which totaled $8.18 million in the 2010 fiscal year.

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