The Wilton Bank Merger Into Bankwell Financial Group Receives Final Regulatory Approval

Bankwell Financial Group, Inc. (OTC:BWFG), the parent company of Bankwell Bank (“Bankwell Bank”), and The Wilton Bank (OTC:WIBW) ("Wilton Bank") announced today that the Connecticut Department of Banking has approved the merger of The Wilton Bank with and into Bankwell Bank and the FDIC has stated that it has no objections to the merger, successfully completing all regulatory required approvals.

Upon completion of the merger, to be effective today, the acquisition will increase Bankwell’s assets by approximately $71.4 million, including $65 million in deposits. In connection with the merger, the company is issuing aggregate cash of approximately $5 million to Wilton Bank shareholders. Bankwell projects the acquisition of The Wilton Bank to be accretive to earnings in the first year of the combined operations.

Bankwell Financial Group management team and board of directors, led by Peyton R. Patterson, President and CEO, will continue to lead the combined team of professional bankers. Charles Howell, former CEO of The Wilton Bank, will leave the Company.

Peyton R. Patterson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Bankwell Financial Group, stated, “We are proud of the hard work accomplished as we prepare to finalize our first acquisition and we look forward to the successful blending of our two like-minded community banks -- each a stand-out for its excellent customer service and focus on community. The merger completes an important step in our long-term strategy to expand our presence in Fairfield County. This growth enhances opportunities for businesses, customer relationships, employees and the communities we serve.”

Bankwell will bring a vast array of new products and services to The Wilton Bank client base and the Wilton community, including Investment Services. With its competitive pricing and $8 million lending capability, Bankwell also brings a dedicated team of commercial lenders to support local business needs. More information about Bankwell can be found at

Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, a Stifel Company, served as financial advisor to Bankwell Financial Group, Inc. and Sandler O’Neill & Partners, L.P. served as financial advisor to The Wilton Bank. Serving as legal advisor to Bankwell was Robinson & Cole, LLP and to The Wilton Bank, Hinkley, Allen & Snyder, LLP.

About Bankwell Financial Group, Inc. and Wilton Bank

Bankwell Financial Group is a federally-regulated bank holding company located in New Canaan, Connecticut. Bankwell Financial Group operates one state chartered commercial bank subsidiary, Bankwell Bank. This bank was recently created from the merger of The Bank of New Canaan and The Bank of Fairfield. Bankwell Bank operates branches in the Fairfield County towns or cities of New Canaan, Fairfield, Stamford and a loan production office in Bridgeport. Bankwell Bank is FDIC insured and provides a full range of banking services to commercial and consumer customers, primarily located within its community and the surrounding area.

The Wilton Bank is a state chartered commercial bank located in Wilton, Connecticut, whose deposits are insured by the FDIC. The Wilton Bank provides a full range of banking services to commercial and consumer customers, primarily located within its community and the surrounding area.

Forward-Looking Statements

This news release contains forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements may include: management plans relating to the transaction; the expected timing of the completion of the transaction; the ability to complete the transaction; any statements of the plans and objectives of management for future or past operations, products or services, including the execution of integration plans; any statements of expectation or belief; and any statements of assumptions underlying any of the foregoing. Forward-looking statements are typically identified by words such as “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “outlook,” “estimate,” “forecast,” “project” and other similar words and expressions. Forward-looking statements are subject to numerous assumptions, risks and uncertainties, which change over time. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made. Neither Bankwell Financial Group nor The Wilton Bank assume any duty and do not undertake to update forward-looking statements. Because forward-looking statements are subject to assumptions and uncertainties, actual results or future events could differ, possibly materially, from those that Bankwell Financial Group or The Wilton Bank anticipated in its forward-looking statements and future results could differ materially from historical performance. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to, the possibility: that expected benefits may not materialize in the timeframe expected or at all, or may be more costly to achieve; that the transaction may not be timely completed, if at all; that prior to the completion of the transaction or thereafter, Bankwell Financial Group’s and The Wilton Bank’s respective businesses may not perform as expected due to transaction-related uncertainty or other factors; that the parties are unable to successfully implement integration strategies; that required regulatory, stockholder or other approvals are not obtained or other closing conditions are not satisfied in a timely manner or at all; reputational risks and the reaction of the companies’ customers to the transaction; diversion of management time on merger-related issues. For any forward-looking statements made in this press release or in any documents, Bankwell Financial Group and The Wilton Bank claim the protection of the safe harbor for forward-looking statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.

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