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More Wisconsin banks losing money

More than one-fifth of Wisconsin's banks lost money in the final quarter of last year, when the nation's financial crisis started to heat up.

The FDIC said the state's 283 banks had combined losses of $354 million from October-December compared to the same time a year ago.

A total of 62 banks lost money last quarter, while 221 others showed profits.

M&I, the state's largest bank, had the largest loss of more than $350 million.

Wisconsin banks added over a $1 million to their accounts which cover bad loans, three times as much as the final quarter of 2007 and they wrote off three times as many bad debts.

Just less than 3 percent of the banks' total loans were delinquent from October-December, up from about 1.5 percent the previous year.

Banking consultant David Donihue said he could never remember a tougher period for Wisconsin's banks and it reflects what's happening nationally.

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