With nearly a quarter of U.S. Bancorp's revenues derived from the corporate and institutional payments group led by vice chair Pamela Joseph - No. 3 in this year's 25 Most Powerful Women in Banking rankings - the retail business of the Minneapolis banking company can sometimes get overlooked. Not this year.

In the second quarter, mortgage income nearly quadrupled, to $302 million, from a year earlier; total income from consumer banking grew nearly 6 percent, to $994 million; and deposits soared 27 percent, to $87.2 billion.

The retail and wholesale mortgage division is headed by Janet Hanks - one of several female executives at the $266 billion-asset bank running key consumer business lines. Under Hanks, U.S. Bank has grown into the sixth-largest mortgage originator in the country. Mortgage-banking revenues in the second quarter were up 32 percent from the previous quarter and were a key reason why fee income levels nearly met analyst's expectations even as fees from other business lines, such as payments, declined.

On the retail branch side, Amy Hurd, senior vice president of several regions of in-store bank networks, helped cut the ribbon on 49 new stores in the Las Vegas area, including 23 opened simultaneously on a single day. Senior vice president Stacey Dodson in Oregon focused on obtaining new loans and deposits from current customers in the hard-hit central and eastern portion of the state, where unemployment in a few counties approached 20 percent and home values have fallen 30 to 45 percent.

And in U.S. Bank's home market in Minnesota, Christine Hobrough, the senior vice president of metropolitan banking for the Twin Cities, spearheaded a number of initiatives that led to strong growth in home-equity lending (60 percent higher than mid-2008 levels); small business loans and lines of credit (up 52.6 percent year-over-year); and issuance of small-business credit cards (up 56 percent). Hobrough's group achieved the results in part by hiring 28 new small-business-banking specialists, and also introducing a new "prospecting" program that formally tracked branch managers' prowess in generating new accounts.

Few banks in the country rely so heavily on women-led businesses to drive revenue, and that's why, for the fourth consecutive year, this magazine is honoring the women of U.S. Bank as the No. 1 banking team. In all, there are 51 senior female managers and three woman corporate officers at U.S. Bank, and the departments they run account for half of the company's revenues. Women also run a number of the behind-the-scenes operations, such as human resources and technology and operations.

Joseph says women play such prominent roles at the bank because CEO Richard Davis strongly encourages the advancement of women. "It's a really important tenet at our bank," she says. "I would just like to see more financial institutions step up in that type of way."

Exploiting new markets is also part of both the retail and corporate plans for U.S. Bank, and this too involves key female corporate powerbrokers. After an FDIC-brokered buyout last November of two failed Southern California institutions - Downey Savings and Loan and PFF Bank - the bank turned to regional retail management veteran Karen Racusin as interim CEO of the PFF operations to keep $2 billion worth of deposits from leaving during the brand conversion.

Executive vice president Leslie Godridge continued staking out corporate and institutional banking opportunities in New York and the East Coast, and Jeannie Fichtel, the bank's senior vice president overseeing ATM and debit services in the consumer banking group, led the acquisition and integration of a West Coast ATM management and vault-cash operation that handles more than 22,000 ATMs and advanced-function kiosks.

Change also came to the wealth management and securities services under vice chair Diane Thormodsgard. Her department, the company's third-largest revenue generator, underwent a significant realignment last year in creating a new Private Client Reserve division for clients with $1 million or more of assets to invest. Team members who helped in the restructuring included senior vice presidents Mary Ruble, Ann Yekaldo and Sally Mullen.

Maria Aspan contributed to this story.

POWER PLAYS

Pamela Joseph, Vice Chair, U.S. Bancorp Payment Services Chair, CEO Elavon
Diane Thormodsgard, EVP
Leslie Godridge, EVP
Malia Wasson, EVP
Jennie Carlson, EVP
Mary Blegen, EVP
Kathleen Rogers, EVP
Julie Cornelius, EVP
Christine Hobrough, SVP
Lynn Heitman, SVP
Valerie Heller, EVP
Jean Fichtel, EVP
Judy Murphy, EVP
Stacey Dodson, President, Central and Eastern Oregon Region
Janet Hanks, SVP
Jeanne Rudelius, SVP
Colleen Sargent, EVP
Rita Jones, EVP
Eve Kaplan, SVP

Other Key Drivers of Performance

Ann Yekaldo, Sally Mullen, Beth Blaisdell, Marlene Murphy, Kathryn Albright, Elizabeth Hund, Cynthia Jensen, Teresa Caspary, Lori Tomasovic-Dizes, Frankie Eichenberger, Lucille Conley, Deborah Burke, Catherine Dudley, Lisa Glover, Charlotte Manison, Julie Hilt, Amy Hurd, Jayne Hladio, Carol Jacobsmeyer, Nancy Kasparek, Terry Jones, Hope Levin, Arlene Mockapetris, Karen Myers, Cathy Myers, Judi Nevonen, Glenna Olson, Ellen Peterson, Jenny Powell, Karen Racusin, Lynn Richtman, Lynn Mary Rosinsky, Mary Ruble, Lori Soren, Judith Verb, Kareina Westlund, Jeanne Whitbeck

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