Associated Banc-Corp (ASBC) in Green Bay, Wis., announced plans to close a dozen branches a day before it is scheduled to release its third-quarter results.

The $22 billion-asset company said it is shuttering 12 branches in Wisconsin and Illinois to improve efficiency and trim overhead.

The consolidated branches are all about two miles from other branches, the company said, and will be closed early next year. Associated has more than 250 branches in the Midwest.

"Branch traffic in many cases has been declining, making it increasingly difficult to continue to operate branches that are in close proximity to each other," said David Stein, executive vice president of retail banking for Associated, in a press release.

The company announced a similar consolidation of 21 branches late last year. It also sold three Illinois branches to other banks this year.

Associated is expected to release its third-quarter results after the market closes on Thursday. Analysts polled by Bloomberg are pegged estimates at 25 cents per share for the third quarter.

In July, Associated reported second-quarter earnings of $42 million, up 61% from a year earlier and the highest quarterly profit since early 2008.

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