Webster Financial Corporation Acquires Eastern Wisconsin Bancshares

September 7, 2004 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - With its acquisition of Eastern Wisconsin Bancshares, Inc, Webster Financial Corporation is making a foray into the burgeoning health savings account (HSA) market.

By acquiring the holding company of State Bank of Howard’s Grove, based in Wisconsin , Webster can become a custodian and administrator of health savings accounts, according to a press release. HSA’s, signed into law last year by President Bush, allow people to set up tax-free health accounts that can be used to pay certain medical bills, allowing rollover from one year to the next. In conjunction with HSA’s, people must purchase a high-deductible health insurance plan.

“As companies and organizations across the country intensify their search for health care plans offering optimal benefits to their employees at affordable costs, they increasingly find advantages in tax-free HSAs,” asserted Webster Chairman and Chief Executive Officer James Smith in the news release. “By giving employees greater flexibility in deciding how they want to protect their families through individual health plans, HSAs offer a compelling new benefits solution.”

Eastern Wisconsin Bancshares,  “has established professional relationships with a broad and diverse range of health insurance carriers, agents, associations, third party administrators and employers, resulting in a robust pipeline of HSA prospects,” according to the announcement. The bank already has over $100 million in HSA deposits, accounting for a large percentage of its $144 million in total deposits.