Associated Banc-Corp's surprise quarterly loss could portend an ugly earnings season for regional banks, especially when it comes to commercial real estate.

The Green Bay, Wis., lender said it would slash its dividend by 4 cents, to a penny, and seek to raise $400 million in a public offering to preserve capital as it braces for more pain in its $3.8 billion CRE portfolio, its largest loan book at 27% of loans.

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