BANKING – Joining forces – Heartland and Wisconsin Community rebrands, unites under one name

Posted on Dec 7, 2012 :: Banking , Insight On
Posted by , Insight on Business Staff Writer

Heartland Business Bank and Wisconsin Community Bank have teamed up under a new name and brand to help expand the bank’s presence in Wisconsin, including at New North locations. Shown is Wisconsin Bank & Trust’s Green Bay office.

Wisconsin Bank & Trust is the new name for Heartland Business Bank and Wisconsin Community Bank, which combined to remove marketplace confusion and to grow the brand.

Heartland Business Bank, based in the New North region with offices in Green Bay and Sheboygan, was originally chartered as Wisconsin Business Bank by parent company Heartland Financial USA in 1999. It took on the Heartland Business Bank name in 2004 when it expanded beyond Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Community Bank has served the Madison market for a hundred years, originally as Cottage Grove State Bank. It became part of Heartland Financial in 1997. Four offices in Madison and one in Monroe have focused on service to individuals, professionals and small- to medium-sized business.

“We have been operating under two distinct names for 13 years,” says Kevin Tenpas, De Pere-based president of the combined operation. “The new name unites both entities to serve clients under a common brand, fostering opportunities to expand the bank’s presence in the state.”

The first evidence of the expanding presence was finalized Nov. 16 when First National Bank in Platteville, Lancaster and Hazel Green was merged into Wisconsin Bank & Trust. “We are expanding our footprint in southwestern Wisconsin and joining forces with a bank that shares a strong culture of respect for the customer and commitment to the community,” adds Tenpas.

The combined company now has assets of approximately $650 million, net loans of $450 million and deposits of $540 million. The northern division will continue its focus on business banking, although it is also expanding rapidly into the residential mortgage market. The southern division will remain consumer-oriented, but will continue to add to its offerings.

“We’ve been able to bring more products and services to the table, including more electronic banking services and a much larger legal lending limit,” says Tenpas. “That’s especially important to our extensive agricultural lending relationships in the southern part of the state.”