Northwest Illinois Bancorp is preparing for a facelift.

The Freeport, Ill., company said early next year it will combine its five subsidiary banks into two, and change its holding company name to Today's Bancorp.

The subsidiary banks also will become known as Today's Banks.

the names are left over from a failed attempt earlier this year to merge with FirstRock Bancorp, Rockford, Ill., which in October agreed to be acquired by Wisconsin's First Financial Corp.

"We needed to unify our corporate identity," said Dan Heine, president and chief executive.

The company wanted a unique name that wasn't geographically limiting, he said.

Christine Pavel, a Chicago Corp. analyst who follows the company, said changing to a single name will help customers throughout the northwestern parts of the state identify with the company more readily.

Northwest Illinois will consolidate its locations in Freeport, Pecatonica and Rockford into a $350 million-asset bank and its Galena and East Dubuque locations into a $135 million-asset bank.

Any job cuts will be through attrition, Mr. Heine said.

"I think mostly it [the consolidation] would enhance revenue" rather than efficiency, Ms. Pavel said. She noted that the company will incur costs for new signs and advertising. Mr. Heine said the company expects to pay $200,000 to $250,000 for new signs and initial marketing efforts.

He said the company, which will have about $500 million in assets, plans to standardize and streamline its product line among the banks.

The company also will create Today's Financial Services as a subsidiary of the larger bank to offer insurance, investment brokerage and trust services.

Another subsidiary, to be renamed Today's Mortgage Source, took a net loss of $460,000 in the first quarter after marking to market unhedged mortgage pipeline loans and loans held for sale. The loss contributed to the demise of the FirstRock merger.

"Aside from the trouble they had with the mortgage bank, they're a pretty good performer," Ms. Pavel said.

Mr. Heine said the company intends to stay independent but it is open to all options.

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