Janesville16.3°

Evansville bank buys two Amcore banks

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GINA R. HEINE
August 20, 2009
— The small-town, family bank that's attracted national media attention for its success during the banking crisis announced Wednesday it plans to buy Amcore Bank branches in New Glarus and Belleville.

The Evansville-headquartered Union Bank & Trust in November likely will close on the deal that includes about $21 million in loans and $36 million in deposits and sweep accounts.


"It did fit into our strategic plan," said Steve Eager, senior vice president. "Out of adversity can sometimes come good—that's sort of how we look at this whole mortgage crisis.


"(With) Amcore obviously having to restructure their business and gain their profitability, we saw an opportunity. They're spinning off these branches. This was an opportunity for us," he said.


The sale is subject to regulatory and other customary closing conditions. The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.


Union Bank & Trust plans to consolidate the Belleville branch with its existing Belleville location.


"It indicates our continued commitment to that community," he said.


When the deal closes, the Amcore Belleville office won't reopen, and Amcore will decide what happens to staff there, Eager said.


"Our existing staff will be able to support that business," he said.


The New Glarus branch allows the bank to expand into another community that fits well within its family of banks, Eager said.


"The entire staff will be coming with us. We're excited about that as the New Glarus community is very similar to other communities we serve," he said. "It will just be a natural fit for us."


Union Bank & Trust, which also has branches in Brooklyn and Oregon, is always looking for opportunities, though its strategic plan doesn't call for benchmarks such as a certain number of offices or communities, Eager said.


"We've minded our p's and q's," he said of the bank's success. "We've run our bank, the lending business, in the traditional methods that have proven out over the years."



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