"While we continued to grapple with the credit quality of our commercial loan portfolio, and earnings were impacted by a sizable increase in the level of non-performing loans to $40.4 million, of which $17.9 million reflect loans acquired in the merger, we are pleased that our capital ratios remain strong and, when measured against regulatory capital ratio requirements, both our banks are considered well capitalized. At the end of the year, non-performing loans represented 4.44% of total loans, 2.22% of total assets. Consequently, we prudently increased our provisions for loan losses, lifting our allowance for loan losses to 24.4% of non-performing loans and 1.1% of total loans at the end of the year.
"Management is intently focused on converting these loans into earning assets. While progress is being made, the agonizingly slow pace in obtaining judicial remedies remains a costly obstacle as collateral values securing these loans further erode and expenses mount," added Inverso.
In closing, Inverso stated, "The Company remains strong, well capitalized, and well equipped to contend with the vagaries of our economy. Additionally, we have taken actions to maximize our earnings potential. The acquisition of Sterling Bank is one example as it provides us with expanded deposit and loan opportunities."
Shares of the Company began trading on July 12, 2006, on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol "ROMA."Roma Financial Corporation (Nasdaq:ROMA) is the holding company of Roma Bank, a community bank headquartered in Robbinsville, New Jersey. Roma Bank has been serving families, businesses and the communities of Central New Jersey for over 90 years with a complete line of financial products and services, and today Roma Bank operates branch locations in Mercer, Burlington, Camden, and Ocean counties in New Jersey. Visit Roma online at www.romabank.com . Forward Looking Statements The foregoing material contains forward-looking statements concerning the financial condition, results of operations and business of the Company. We caution that such statements are subject to a number of uncertainties and actual results could differ materially, and, therefore, readers should not place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements. The Company does not undertake, and specifically disclaims, any obligation to publicly release the results of any revisions that may be made to any forward-looking statements to reflect the occurrence of anticipated or unanticipated events or circumstances after the date of such statements.
CONTACT: Peter A. Inverso, President & CEO 609-223-8310