GREEN BAY, Wis., May 6, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Associated Banc-Corp (NASDAQ: ASBC), the $21 billion regional bank headquartered in Green Bay, Wis., received a credit rating upgrade from Standard & Poor's Ratings Services (S&P). S&P raised its rating on Associated Banc-Corp to 'BBB-' from 'BB-', and banking subsidiary Associated Bank N.A., to 'BBB' from 'BB+'.

In their remarks, S&P cited Associated's improved balance sheet, profitability and strong capital position. They also noted the long-term strategy to reduce and manage risk should benefit future profitability. Associated's first-quarter results showed continued improvement in credit quality along with significant declines in loan-loss provisioning and nonperforming assets (NPAs) since last year, resulting in first-quarter profitability, and marking the third consecutive quarter of net profit.

"Associated is viewing this upgrade as affirmation of the great work our colleagues have done to understand and address those issues most pressing to our company and our customers over the past year and a half, " said President and CEO Philip B. Flynn. "Our colleagues have been committed to returning Associated to its rightful place as a strong and profitable organization."

Associated's continues to make progress. In addition to the S&P ratings upgrade and three consecutive quarters of profitability, the company has embarked on a retail branch upgrade plan, maintained its seven year run as Wisconsin's number one SBA lender and three year run as the state's number one mortgage originator, hired notable leaders in the banking industry to direct its teams, and even this week, announced an exclusive partnership agreement with Super Bowl-Winning Green Bay Packers' Quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

"In order to be the most admired Midwestern financial services company, we have to exceed our customers' expectations while adding value to our shareholders and being committed to the communities in which we serve.  We are on a continual road of improvement, "said Flynn.

About Associated Banc-Corp

Associated Banc-Corp (NASDAQ: ASBC) is one of the top 50 financial services holding companies operating in the United States. At March 31, 2011, Associated had total assets of $21 billion.  Headquartered in Green Bay, Wis., Associated has approximately 270 banking locations serving more than 150 communities in Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota. The company offers a full range of banking services and other financial products and services. More information about Associated Banc-Corp is available at www.associatedbank.com.

Contact: Autumn Latimore
Senior Vice President
Public Relations Director
414-278-1860 phone
autumn.latimore@associatedbank.com

SOURCE Associated Banc-Corp

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