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Senate committee holds
confirmation hearing for DFI Secretary

DFI Secretary Jay Risch testified at his Senate confirmation hearing on March 9 before the Senate Committee on Revenue, Financial Institutions and Rural Issues. The committee and full state Senate must approve Risch's appointment for it to be official. At the hearing, Risch gave committee members an overview of DFI's responsibilities to ensure the safety and soundness of state-chartered financial institutions, to protect consumers and the investing public, and to enhance the viability and accessibility of the state's business record-keeping system - the key planks of DFI's mission statement. Risch, a native of Oconomowoc, also recapped his professional career, which has included time as a policy advisor to Governor Scott McCallum, working on the staffs of Senators Alberta Darling and Cathy Stepp, nearly five years as Director of Government Relations for the Wisconsin Bankers Association, and two years as a deputy secretary at the Department of Safety and Professional Services and DFI.

New business entity filings
tracking 7.0% ahead of prior year

MADISON - The number of new business entities formed in Wisconsin in the first two months of 2017 grew by 7.0% compared to same period in 2016, according to data compiled by the Department of Financial Institutions (DFI). As of Feb. 28, 2017, new business filings totaled 7,654 compared to 7,153 in the same period in 2016.

The business formation data is compiled by DFI, which is the filing office for the creation of business entities in the state. DFI tracks new business entity creation on a monthly basis and posts the data on its website. The full report may be found at www.wdfi.org/corporations/HistoricalStatistics.htm.

2016 net income, lending increase
for state-chartered banks

MADISON - Net income grew 3.5% and net lending increased by 1.4% at Wisconsin's state-chartered banks in the year ending Dec. 31, 2016, compared to the previous year, according to data released by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Compared to 2015, Wisconsin's 166 state-chartered banks:

  • Grew net income to $536.2 million, up from $518.3 million.
  • Increased net loans to $35.3 billion, up from $34.8 billion.
  • Maintained their capital ratio at 11.39%, down slightly from 11.60%.
  • Reduced their past due loan ratio to 1.26%, down from 1.45%.

"State-chartered banks continued to build on their solid showing of the past few years with another strong performance in 2016," said Lon Roberts, Secretary of the Department of Financial Institutions (DFI), which oversees the institutions. "Our banks are positioned well to provide the products and services their customers need and want and help the Wisconsin economy continue to get stronger."

For the year, nearly 99% of state-chartered banks were profitable, with more than 71% posting earnings increases compared to 2015.

DFI Secretary named to PSC;
Deputy Secretary elevated to top spot

DFI Secretary Lon Roberts has been appointed to the Wisconsin Public Service Commission (PSC) and Deputy Secretary Jay Risch has been elevated to DFI Secretary, Governor Scott Walker announced today (Feb. 23, 2017). DFI Assistant Deputy Secretary Alex Ignatowski also will join the PSC as an Executive Assistant to incoming Commissioner Roberts. The changes are effective March 6, 2017.

Roberts was appointed DFI Secretary in February 2016. Prior to joining DFI, Roberts worked for more than 40 years at the Ruder Ware law firm in Wausau, where he served as President for 11 years and concentrated his practice in business and commercial law, primarily in the areas of corporate mergers and acquisitions, finance, lending, and private equity capital transactions.

Risch was appointed Deputy Secretary of DFI in July 2015 after having served in the same capacity at the Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS). He previously served as a policy advisor to Governor Scott McCallum and on the staffs of State Senators Cathy Stepp and Alberta Darling. Risch also was the Director of Government Relations for the Wisconsin Bankers Association from 2010 until February 2015.

Ignatowski was appointed Assistant Deputy Secretary in July 2015. He previously worked for the Department of Health Services as a Legislative Advisor and in the Office of Governor Walker as the Director of Operations and Assistant to the Chief of Staff.