MILWAUKEE - November 26, 2012 - Associated Bank is once again the No. 1 Small Business Administration (SBA) lender in Wisconsin for fiscal year 2012, according to a recent SBA report.

From Oct. 1, 2011 to Sept. 30, 2012, Associated Bank authorized 271 SBA 7(a) loans for a total value of more than $41 million throughout the bank's footprint.

In Wisconsin, Associated Bank authorized 176 loans totaling $22 million. The loans helped to create 211 jobs and retain 61 jobs. This is the eighth year in a row that Associated Bank has authorized the highest number of SBA loans in Wisconsin, and the 13th time in 15 years.

SBA lending nationwide remained robust in fiscal 2012, as the SBA posted its second largest dollar volume year in the agency's 59 year history.

"Reaching such strong numbers is a clear sign that both the business and lending communities are regaining their confidence in the economic climate of the country," said SBA Administrator Karen Mills. "It means that the credit markets are increasingly willing to help small businesses establish themselves, grow and create new jobs for Americans."

Nationally, Associated Bank ranked 18 out of 2,487 participating lenders in terms of SBA 7 (a) loans authorized in fiscal 2012. Borrowers self-reported that 382 new jobs were created and approximately 107 existing jobs were retained as a result of Associated Bank's SBA lending efforts in the states where it conducts business.

"I want to congratulate Associated Bank on a great year of helping Wisconsin Small Businesses start, grow and create jobs," said Eric Ness, SBA Wisconsin District Director. "This year's loan volume shows a positive outlook, and we are looking forward to our continued collaboration."

In addition, Associated provided the 3rd most SBA 504 loans in Wisconsin with 13 loans totaling more than $11.3 million. Through Associated Bank's SBA 504 loan program, 73 jobs were created, and 39 jobs were retained. The strong performance of 504 loans was boosted by the Temporary 504 Refinance Program, which was part of the incentive package under the 2010 Small Business Jobs Act.

"We are very proud to celebrate being named the top SBA lender in Wisconsin, once again," said Doug Kohlbeck, Director of Business Banking at Associated Bank. "During these difficult economic times, we remain committed to supporting the businesses that support the communities where we live and serve."

ABOUT ASSOCIATED BANC-CORP
Associated Banc-Corp (NASDAQ: ASBC) has total assets of $23 billion and is one of the top 50, publicly traded, U.S. bank holding companies. Headquartered in Green Bay, Wis., Associated is a leading Midwest banking franchise, offering a full range of financial products and services through more than 250 banking locations serving more than 150 communities throughout Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota, and commercial financial services in Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio and Texas. Associated Bank, N.A. is an Equal Housing Lender, Equal Opportunity Lender and Member FDIC. More information about Associated Banc-Corp is available at www.associatedbank.com.

Contact: Nicole Koremenos
Public Relations Specialist
414-278-1832 PHONE
414-254-2270 CELL
Nicole.Koremenos@AssociatedBank.com