“While we have more to accomplish, I am confident that we are on the right course to continue delivering value for our shareholders and to create long-term benefits for all of our stakeholders.”

STRONG BANK RESULTS BUILT ON SUCCESS OF PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENT PROJECT AND LOWER CREDIT COSTS

Full-Year Results:

Bank net income for 2010 was $58.5 million compared to $41.1 million, excluding the PMRS charges in 2009. The primary drivers for the $17.4 million increase in net income over adjusted net income for the prior year were (on an after-tax basis):
  • $11 million decrease in noninterest expense primarily due to additional cost savings derived from the completion of the PIP in 2010;
  • $7 million lower provision for loan losses;
  • $6 million increase in noninterest income primarily due to the non-recurrence of 2009 impairment charges of $9 million on mortgage-related securities, which was offset by lower fee and other income in 2010 as a result of the Regulation E impact on overdraft fees and a 2009 gain on the sale of one commercial loan.

These factors were partially offset by $7 million lower net interest income primarily due to lower earning asset balances as the majority of new residential mortgage originations were sold. Net interest margin improved to 4.23% in 2010, up from 4.19% in 2009, primarily due to lower funding costs.

Provision for loan losses (pretax) was $20.9 million in 2010 compared with $32.0 million in 2009. The $11.1 million decline in the provision was primarily due to the provision made in 2009 relating to one large commercial loan that was subsequently sold during 2009. The 2010 net charge-off ratio remained low at 0.61%, an improvement from 0.66% in 2009.

Noninterest expense (pretax) for 2010 was $148.9 million in 2010, $18.6 million lower than the $167.5 million in 2009 as a result of the successful execution of the PIP.

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