Associated Banc-Corp (ASBC) in Green Bay, Wis., is eyeing acquisitions of community banks, but its chief executive says it has little interest in failed banks and would only consider deals within its existing markets.

Phil Flynn, Associated's president and CEO, told investors and analysts at a conference in New York Tuesday that while its first priorities for deploying capital are to grow the company organically and to increase its dividend, it is also ready to start doing deals again. The $22 billion-asset company has not made a whole-bank acquisition in more than five years.

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