Securant Bank & Trust: Local bank growing in down economy

Contact: Michelle Luckiesh, Marketing Manager

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Phone: (414) 449-8005

6001 W Capitol Dr

Milwaukee, WI 53216

Securant Bank & Trust Growing Assets, Adding Jobs, Opening New Location

Milwaukee, Wis. (January 26, 2009) – In a trying time for banks nationwide, over the past year Milwaukee-headquartered Securant Bank & Trust has experienced a 21.4 percent growth in assets and a 20 percent growth in staff while expanding its services and adding locations.

The 95-year-old community bank is still expanding, with plans to open a new branch – its fifth location in the metro area – in Elm Grove February 1. “We are not new to banking. Our assets and infrastructure and personnel have been in place and performing for a long while,” said David Davis, Securant Bank & Trust president and CEO. “We have history. We have experience. And we have something you don’t often find in bankers…imagination.”

Securant Bank & Trust focuses on serving owner-managed businesses and clients who have an eye on their financial future. The bank’s assets and lending power enabled the bank to increase its commercial lending portfolio by 31 percent in 2008. Davis said fierce competition and a changing banking landscape is leading the way for regional banks to rebound once again.

“We have a strong capital position, money to loan and our commitment is helping clients thrive by providing financial solutions,” Davis said. “We pride ourselves on rolling up our sleeves to understand what our customers are all about and to look beyond the numbers.”

Spurred by a privately held capital campaign closed in December 2007, Securant Bank & Trust reached its fundraising goals and infused the funds into its strategic growth plans. Since the closing of the offering, the bank has been researching and determining new locations like the one it added in Slinger, Wis., in April 2008, which exceeded all of its goals in the first quarter of operation.

The bank has added experienced staff in the areas of commercial lending, commercial banking, private banking, branch managers and customer service representatives. “We have seen a great deal of experienced bankers seeking to work for us,” Davis said. “At our bank, they get a greater sense of accomplishment and a feeling of independence over their day-to-day activities.”

Davis noted that the bank’s lenders, for instance, are part of the team that makes the decision to loan money or not, versus turning it over to a committee. He said this capability is a sizable competitive advantage when meeting with a client.

It is culture and way of working that Davis said attracts premier talent to regional banks. He said the bank has gained a lot of local talent in the areas of commercial banking, private banking and wealth management.

“Regional banks have a lot to offer experienced bankers, including the ability to work directly with bank owners as well as helping set and achieve goals, giving them a greater sense of job satisfaction,” Davis continued, noting that attracting experienced bankers also helps the bank win because it gains new prospects and relationships that drive growth in loans and deposits. “In the metro Milwaukee area, you have to be aggressive and have the right bankers to make it happen because new business doesn’t just walk in your door, even if you’re sitting a prime location.”

Another growth area for Securant Bank & Trust is in the products and services it offers. In December 2008 the bank launched its Wealth Management Group, led by Senior Vice President Steve Corbisier. “With the addition of these services we can begin to fully service our clients’ needs from the operations of their businesses to completing their financial to-do lists,” Davis said. “Previously we were referring our clients elsewhere and this just didn’t make sense if we are already their financial partner.”

This past year Securant Bank & Trust increased its deposit growth 12.8 percent. “With the addition of the products and services offered by the Wealth Management Group, we plan to exceed that number in 2009,” Davis said. “Since before the close of the private offering in 2007 we have been positioning ourselves for growth, and even though the economy isn’t fairing well, our bank is taking advantage of the marketplace and growing.”

Davis said the bank plans to continue its focus on commercial lending and banking, a niche it has developed over time. As the bank grows, the plan is to continue to add locations, employees, and products and services that make sense to accomplish its strategic vision.

“We also understand diversification is key to business,” Davis said. “All this is a win-win for us and our customers who benefit in a variety of ways, including a higher earning potential and better services.”

About Securant Bank & Trust

An independent bank in operation since 1914, Securant Bank & Trust, formerly known as Milwaukee Western Bank (MWBank), specializes in serving small- to mid-sized, owner-managed businesses. The bank offers the full complement of commercial and personal financial products including checking, credit card services, loans, equipment leases, mortgages, online banking, financial planning and wealth management services. The bank has current assets of $215 million and a long history of building strong, lasting relationships with its customers. For more information, visit http://www.securantbank.com.