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Looking to expand
Associated has other moves brewing.
Free of restrictions from the consent order, Flynn has made deploying the bank’s excess capital a top priority and is prowling for acquisitions.
“We’re actively out talking to potential banks,” Flynn said.
Of interest are those with assets above $500 million, he said, in places where the bank has existing operations. As much as he likes the Twin Cities, he said, there’s a scarcity of potential targets in the area.
The Twin Cities is noted for having big banks on one end, legions of small community banks on the other, with not much in between.
“It’s kind of a bifurcated market here right now,” said Craig Mueller, senior vice president at Oak Ridge Financial in Golden Valley.
Mueller said Chaska-based KleinBank and Anchor Bank in St. Paul might be potential targets. But both lenders are closely held and indicate they aren’t looking to sell.
Meanwhile, the bank is renovating its retail branches in Minnesota and working on sensible growth.
“We offer the traditional regional bank suite of services and that is what we will stick to,” Flynn said.
Jennifer Bjorhus • 612-673-4683