Elkhorn-based bank tapping into Janesville market

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Jim Leute
Friday, June 21, 2013

— An Elkhorn-based community bank has opened a loan production office in Janesville that could eventually lead to a full-service branch.

Peoples Bank recently opened the loan center at 428 N. Highway 14.

Dennis Moore and Hart Semrau are staffing the center and handling agricultural and commercial loans, respectively.

“We're going into the market initially with a loan center that will generate a level of loan volume that we can put a shovel in the ground and open a full-service branch bank,” said Tom Oehler, president and chief executive officer of Peoples Bank, which has two branches in Elkhorn, one in Silver Lake and another loan production office in Waterford.

It's a model other banks have used successfully to enter new markets, he said.

“We're excited about the Janesville market,” Oehler said. “It's been through a lot, like a lot of other communities, but we think the economy is starting to improve and there are some opportunities there for us.”

Oehler said Peoples Bank already has about $7 million in ag and commercial loans on its books from the Janesville area. The loans are Peoples Bank loans and have not been sold on secondary markets, he said.

Oehler said Peoples Bank is relatively young. It opened in 2001 and its deposits and loans have grown steadily since.

“A lot of us came from the large money center banks, and we've seen the changes they've gone through and the frustrations customers have experienced,” he said. “We've got a team of well experienced lenders who think we can take better care of the customers.”

While pockets of the banking industry have certainly changed in recent years, Oehler said Peoples Bank has remained true to its principles of local decision-making, competitive rates and superior customer service.

Last updated: 7:50 am Monday, July 29, 2013

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