Archive for 'United States Department of the Treasury'

Foreclosure Assistance Just a Phone Call Away

To increase awareness of the Making Home Affordable® Program’s free resources and assistance for struggling homeowners, the U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury), the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the Ad Council today unveiled the third and final phase of their Foreclosure Prevention Assistance Public Service Advertising (PSA) Campaign. To view the campaign materials, click here.

To view the multimedia assets associated with this release, please click:

Data shows that nearly one in 14 U.S. homeowners has fallen behind on his or her mortgage payments. The new phase of the campaign seeks to identify with those homeowners and raise awareness of free government resources designed to help avoid foreclosure. As announced earlier this year, the Making Home Affordable® Program has been extended through December 2013 and the eligibility criteria have been broadened. Now, homeowners with rental properties and additional homeowners facing a negative change in their finances may be eligible for assistance.

“While communities across the country are beginning to recover from an unprecedented housing crisis, too many families are still struggling with their mortgage payments and are unsure of where to turn for help,” said Treasury Undersecretary for Domestic Finance Mary Miller. “Millions of homeowners have gotten help to avoid foreclosure since 2009. We want to make sure struggling homeowners know today that there are free government resources available to help homeowners avoid foreclosure.”

Ad Council research shows that many struggling homeowners delay conversations about their mortgage concerns because they feel confused about where to turn for help and about whom to trust. With that in mind, Chicago-based advertising agency Schafer Condon Carter created the new print, radio, outdoor and web PSAs to strongly encourage homeowners not to give up hope and remind them that there are free resources available to help.

The PSAs, which are available in English and Spanish, direct homeowners to call 888-995-HOPE (4673) for free access to HUD-approved housing experts who are available to speak one-on-one about solutions based on each family’s individual circumstances, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Additionally, the campaign drives homeowners to the website,, which hosts robust online resources where homeowners can learn how to address their mortgage concerns.

“Even as the housing market continues to strengthen and stabilize, it is more important than ever that we provide the one-on-one counseling services HUD-approved housing agencies give to families who are still struggling to make ends meet and are in danger of losing their homes,” said FHA Acting Commissioner Carol Galante. “Thanks to the Ad Council’s efforts, more families will be able to take advantage of this free service and receive unbiased advice from trained experts who will help them better understand their options.”

“We know that there are still millions of families across the nation facing the threat of home foreclosure,” said Peggy Conlon, president and CEO of the Ad Council. “We hope to be able to reach these Americans with a message of hope and inspire them to get the help they need.”

“All of us at SCC feel honored to be working with the Ad Council, Treasury, and HUD on this campaign, which is providing real assistance to struggling homeowners,” said David Selby, president and Managing Partner of Schafer Condon Carter, whose team created the ads pro bono. “At its core, the campaign attempts to capture the inertia and intense mental paralysis homeowners feel when faced with the prospect of losing their homes. Our hope is that this advertising will speak directly and powerfully to those most in need of help and cause them to take immediate action.”

Per the Ad Council model, all PSAs will be aired and run in time and space donated by media organizations.  Since the campaign was launched in 2010, media outlets have donated $68.7 million in air time and space. The new ads are being distributed ahead of the month of January – a time when historically many families struggle with their bills and are at increased risk of foreclosure.

The Ad Council
The Ad Council is a private, non-profit organization with a 70-year history of marshalling volunteer talent from the advertising and media industries to deliver critical messages to the American public. Having produced literally thousands of PSA campaigns addressing the most pressing social issues of the day, the Ad Council has affected, and continues to affect, tremendous positive change by raising awareness, inspiring action, and saving lives. For more information, please visit You can also visit or follow the Ad Council on Twitter @AdCouncil.

Schafer Condon Carter
Schafer Condon Carter is widely recognized as one of the top independent advertising agencies in the United States. SCC has built its success by challenging conventional approaches to marketing and delivering a tightly orchestrated, fully integrated brand vision for its clients across an infinite set of consumer touch points. A simple mission drives the agency’s entrepreneurial spirit and aggressive, growth-oriented culture: “Think Again.” SCC’s client roster includes: Allen Edmonds, Beam Global Spirits, Campbell Soup Co., Chicago Cubs, ConAgra Foods, Giordano’s, John Morrell Food Group, Land O’Lakes, National Pork Board, Procter & Gamble, Rotary International, Solo Cup and Terlato. The agency’s wholly owned network includes SCC|Public Relations and SCC|Digital.  For more information, visit

CONTACT: Lisa Cullen, Ad Council, +1-202-331-5052,; Andrea Risotto, Treasury Public Affairs, +1-202-927-8726,; George Gonzalez, HUD Public Affairs, +1-202-402-6054,; Mike Grossman, SCC Public Relations, +1-312-222-7478,

Web Site:

Fed’s Foreclosure Assistance Program Has New Life

New Ads Drive Struggling Homeowners to Call 888-995-HOPE and Go to Website As Part of Ongoing Campaign

The Ad Council, in partnership with the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), have joined together to launch a new phase of their Foreclosure Prevention Assistance Public Service Advertising (PSA) Campaign. The campaign aims to increase awareness of the Making Home Affordable® Program’s free resources and assistance for homeowners who are struggling with their mortgage payments.

One in 11 homeowners nationwide has missed two or more mortgage payments. Many struggling homeowners delay conversations about their mortgage concerns and enter foreclosure without ever reaching out for assistance. The new PSAs notify homeowners facing mortgage trouble that options other than foreclosure are available, and the sooner they act, the more options they have for the best possible outcome.

The Foreclosure Prevention Assistance campaign encourages homeowners to call 888-995-HOPE (4673) to speak one-on-one with a HUD-approved housing expert to discuss the solutions that are available based on their individual circumstances. In addition, the program website,, serves as an online resource for struggling homeowners to learn about options other than foreclosure.

Created pro bono by Schafer Condon Carter, a Chicago-based advertising agency, the new television, radio, print, out of home, and online PSAs have been created in English and Spanish. The PSAs aim to inspire homeowners who are unsure of where to turn to reach out for help as soon as possible.

“The Making Home Affordable Program has already assisted over a million homeowners,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. “Housing counselors are ready to continue their work with homeowners to discuss specific solutions for their mortgage problems. Struggling homeowners do not need to work through their concerns alone. The key is encouraging homeowners to pick up the phone now to explore their options.”

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner added: “While the housing market is still distressed, the Administration’s programs have helped establish better standards for the mortgage industry. As a result, struggling homeowners have more options today than ever before. We are continuing to do everything we can to help stabilize the market and to ease the burden on struggling homeowners. And that includes working to make sure families and individuals know about the resources available to them.”

“We are proud to continue our partnership with Treasury and HUD on this critical issue of home foreclosures that affects so many Americans,” said Peggy Conlon, president and CEO, the Ad Council. “We are confident that these new PSAs will resonate with homeowners struggling with their mortgages and encourage them to call 888-995-HOPE or visit the website to learn what they can do to prevent foreclosure.”

“All of us at Schafer Condon Carter have been honored to work with the Ad Council and its sponsors at Treasury and HUD on the Making Home Affordable campaign,” said David Selby, president of Schafer Condon Carter. “We know that the financial burdens currently facing many homeowners are paralyzing. We’ve captured this emotion with a creative treatment that shows people frozen in time while the world goes on around them. Speaking directly to these homeowners is key in getting them to get the help they need as soon as possible.”

The Ad Council will distribute the new PSAs to more than 33,000 media outlets nationwide. The new advertisements build on the successful nationwide campaign first launched between Treasury, HUD and the Ad Council in the summer of 2010. The PSAs will air in advertising space donated by the media.

The Advertising Council
The Ad Council ( is a private, non-profit organization that marshals talent from the advertising and communications industries, the facilities of the media and the resources of the business and non-profit communities to produce, distribute and promote public service campaigns on behalf of non-profit organizations and government agencies.  The Ad Council addresses issue areas such as improving the quality of life for children, preventive health, education, community well-being, environmental preservation and strengthening families.

Schafer Condon Carter
Schafer Condon Carter is Chicago’s top independent mid-size advertising agency and one of the fastest growing shops in the United States. SCC has built its success by challenging the status quo and delivering a tightly orchestrated, fully-integrated brand vision for its clients across an infinite set of consumer touch points. A simple mission drives the agency’s entrepreneurial spirit and aggressive, growth-oriented culture: “Think Again.” SCC’s client roster includes: Allen Edmonds, Armour Eckrich, Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Brach’s, Brunswick, ConAgra Foods, General Mills, Land O’Lakes, National Pork Board, New Chapter, optionsXpress, Rotary international, and Solo Cup. The agency’s wholly owned network includes SCC|Grossman Public Relations and SCC|Digital. For more information visit

Ad Council Newsroom (212) 984-1923
Treasury Public Affairs (202) 622-2960
HUD Public Affairs (202) 708-0980

Associated Banc-Corp (Nasdaq: ASBC) announced today that it has completed the repurchase of the remaining 262,500 shares of the Series A Preferred Stock that it issued to the U.S. Department of the Treasury under the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) Capital Purchase Program. Earlier today, Associated paid the U.S. Treasury $262.5 million, plus an accrued dividend of $1.1 million.  Associated funded the repurchase of the TARP shares from its recently completed public offerings of $130 million of 5.125% Senior Notes due 2016 and $65 million of Depositary Shares of 8% Perpetual Preferred Stock, Series B, and cash on hand. The repayment today is an acceleration of the previously announced target repayment date of September 28, 2011.

“We are pleased with investor response to our debt and preferred stock offerings last week and proud that we finished repurchasing the TARP preferred stock consistent with the commitment we made earlier this year to our shareholders to repay the TARP funds as soon as possible and in the most shareholder-friendly manner possible,” said President and CEO Philip B. Flynn.

“As each institution’s repayment of TARP is subject to the approval of its bank regulator, we believe the regulatory approval for our final repayment is a continued indication of the company’s financial strength,” said Flynn. ” Our pro forma capital ratios following the senior notes and the preferred stock offerings and the TARP repayment continue to exceed the requirements of our regulators and standards for well-capitalized banks. This strong capital position provides us with flexibility as we continue to execute our strategic plans for growth.”

Associated Banc-Corp has paid a total of $68.2 million in dividends to the U.S. Treasury since November 2008, when the company received the funds under the Capital Purchase Program.

The following table outlines the company’s reported capital ratios as of June 30, 2011 and adjusted to reflect the net proceeds from the issuance of $130 million of senior notes and $65 million of depositary shares, and the repurchase of the TARP Series A Preferred Stock:

As of June 30, 2011
Actual As Adjusted
for Notes
and Depositary Shares
and Series A
Tier 1 common equity to risk-weighted assets (2) 12.61% 12.57%
Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio 16.03% 14.55%
Total risk-based capital ratio 17.50% 16.03%
(1) Assumes issuance of the notes and the depositary shares at the public offering prices and repurchase of the Series A Preferred Stock for an aggregate repurchase price of approximately $263.6 million ($262.5 million liquidation amount of the Series A Preferred Stock plus approximately $1.1 million of accrued and unpaid dividends).
(2) Tier 1 common capital ratio = Tier 1 capital excluding qualifying perpetual preferred stock and qualifying trust preferred securities divided by risk-weighted assets. This is a non-GAAP financial measure.


Associated Banc-Corp (Nasdaq: ASBC) has total assets of $22 billion and is one of the top 50 financial services holding companies operating in the United States. Headquartered in Green Bay, Wis., Associated has approximately 270 banking locations serving more than 150 communities in Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota. The company offers a full range of banking services and other financial products and services.  More information about Associated Banc-Corp is available at


Statements made in this document that are not purely historical are forward-looking statements, as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. This includes any statements regarding management’s plans, objectives, or goals for future operations, products or services, and forecasts of its revenues, earnings, or other measures of performance. Forward-looking statements are based on current management expectations and, by their nature, are subject to risks and uncertainties. These statements may be identified by the use of words such as “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “plan,” “estimate,” “should,” “will,” “intend,” or similar expressions. Outcomes related to such statements are subject to numerous risk factors and uncertainties including those listed in the Company’s most recent Annual Report filed on Form 10-K as updated by the Company’s most recent Form 10-Q.

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Janet L. Ford
Senior Vice President
Investor Relations Director
414-278-1890 PHONE

Autumn M. Latimore
Senior Vice President
Public Relations Director
414-278-1860 PHONE
414-380-9082 CELL

Penn Liberty Financial Corp. (the “Company”), the holding company for Penn Liberty Bank (the “Bank”), announced that on September 1, 2011 it received $20.0 million from the U.S. Department of Treasury’s (“Treasury”) Small Business Lending Fund (“SBLF”) to be used to further enhance its business lending efforts.  The Company used approximately $10.5 million of the SBLF proceeds to redeem all of the outstanding preferred stock issued to Treasury under the Troubled Asset Relief Program (“TARP”).  The SBLF is a voluntary program intended to encourage small business lending by providing capital to eligible community banks at favorable rates.

“We are pleased to have been selected as one of the few qualified banks in our market to participate in the SBLF program” said Patrick J. Ward, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.  “By supporting lending to businesses and entrepreneurs through the SBLF we are well-positioned to continue to work within our communities to help enhance job creation and economic growth.  Business loans of up to $10 million to companies with up to $50 million in annual revenue are included in the SBLF’s definition of small business loans.  This definition captures a high percentage of the business loans we fund for our customers.”

One of the key strategies for Penn Liberty Bank is serving small businesses. The Bank holds Preferred Lender Program (“PLP”) status from the U.S. Small Business Administration (“SBA”).  The PLP is the highest lending designation awarded by the SBA and is only presented to lenders who consistently demonstrate their commitment to small business lending and who strictly adhere to SBA guidelines.  The Bank also holds the SBA Express designation which allows the Bank to make timely loan approval decisions.

“The types of small business loans targeted by the SBLF represent a significant portion of our loan portfolio” added Brian C. Zwaan, President and Chief Operating Officer.  “As we celebrate our seventh year of operations, we look forward to continuing our tradition of meeting the needs of entrepreneurs and small businesses in the communities we serve.”

About Penn Liberty Bank

Penn Liberty Bank offers nine conveniently located branches and is a community bank focused on providing personal, high touch service.  Combining state of the art technology with highly talented, customer service oriented employees and a full suite of consumer and business products and services has resulted in the Bank’s growth to over $486 million in assets.

To learn more about Penn Liberty Bank please visit

CONTACT: Patrick Ward of Penn Liberty Bank, +1-610-535-4510

Web Site:

MutualFirst Financial, Inc. (the “Company”) (NASDAQ: MFSF), the holding company of MutualBank (the “Bank”), today announced that it has completely repaid funding under the TARP Capital Repurchase Plan.  MutualFirst redeemed the $32.4 million of preferred stock issued to the Treasury under the TARP Capital Purchase Program (the “TARP”) in December 2008.  In addition to the full redemption of the TARP investment, the Company paid a total of $4.3 million in dividends to the Treasury during the period the investment was outstanding.  Also, the Treasury continues to hold warrants to purchase 625,135 shares of common stock of the Company’s common stock at a price of $7.77 per share.  The Company will attempt to repurchase these warrants from Treasury in the coming weeks, providing an additional return on the taxpayers’ investment.

“Funding under the TARP program allowed added protection to shareholders and depositors at a time when there was much uncertainty in financial markets,” commented David W. Heeter, President and CEO of MutualFirst. Heeter continued. “In addition, our attempt to retire the warrants will eliminate the dilution overhang for our shareholders.”

On August 25, 2011, MutualFirst received an investment of $28.9 million in the company’s preferred stock from the United States Department of the Treasury (the “Treasury”) under the Small Business Lending Fund (the “SBLF”).  The SBLF is a $30 billion voluntary program intended to encourage small business lending by providing capital to qualified community banks at favorable rates.

“The Company has been selected among healthy financial institutions to participate in this important program.  We are pleased to have completed the SBLF capital infusion in support of our small business lending operations and to have completely repaid the TARP investment,” commented David W. Heeter, President and CEO.  Mr. Heeter added, “We believe our participation in the SBLF program is a great opportunity for MutualFirst and MutualBank to continue to meet the credit needs of the small business community.

More details regarding the transactions described above may be found in the Company’s Current Report on Form 8-K filed on August 26, 2011, with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.

MutualBank, an Indiana-based financial institution, has thirty-two full-service retail financial centers in Delaware, Elkhart, Grant, Kosciusko, Randolph, St. Joseph and Wabash Counties in Indiana.  MutualBank also has two Wealth Management and Trust offices located in Carmel and Crawfordsville, Indiana and a loan origination office in New Buffalo, Michigan.  MutualBank is a leading residential lender in each of the market areas it serves, and provides a full range of financial services including wealth management and trust services and Internet banking services.  The Company’s stock is traded on the NASDAQ National Market under the symbol “MFSF” and can be found on the Internet at

Statements contained in this release, which are not historical facts, are forward-looking statements, as that term is defined in the Private Securities Reform Act of 1995.  Such forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ from those currently anticipated due to a number of factors, which include, but are not limited to factors discussed in documents filed by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission from time to time.

Small Business Owners Get New Source of Funds

MidSouth Bancorp, Inc. (“MidSouth”) (NYSE Amex: MSL) announced today that the U.S. Treasury has selected MidSouth Bank for participation in the Small Business Lending Fund (SBLF), which will allow the bank to extend more commercial loans at low and competitive rates to small businesses across its two-state trade area.

MidSouth Bank’s goal is to put $108 million in new loans on its books over a two-year period. “Working with the U.S. Treasury, the Small Business Administration and the various economic development districts throughout our markets will allow us to increase loans to many small businesses, which in turn will enable them to hire more employees in the areas of Louisiana and Texas,” said Troy Cloutier, Chief Banking Officer at MidSouth Bank.

In general, for a loan to qualify for SBLF funding, a company must have annual sales of less than $50 million and borrowing needs under $10 million. “We are very interested in talking to anyone in Louisiana and Texas about these small business loans. We are urging them to call their nearest MidSouth location and ask to speak to one of our commercial loan officers about getting a loan under the Small Business Lending Fund,” added Cloutier.

Recognized as one of the fastest growing banks in the South, MidSouth now has 40 locations in Louisiana and Texas and $1.2 billion in assets.

Enacted into law as part of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, also commonly called the Jobs Act, the SBLF is a $30 billion fund that encourages lending to small businesses by providing capital to qualified community banks with assets of less than $10 billion. By putting Main Street banks and small businesses together, the U.S. Treasury aims to help create jobs and promote economic growth in local communities across the nation.

About MidSouth Bancorp, Inc.

MidSouth Bancorp, Inc. is a bank holding company headquartered in Lafayette, Louisiana with assets of $1.2 billion as of July 31, 2011. Through its wholly owned subsidiary, MidSouth Bank, N.A., MidSouth offers a full range of banking services to commercial and retail customers in Louisiana and Texas. MidSouth Bank has 40 locations and over 50 ATMs.  More corporate information is available at

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements contained herein are forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and subject to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, that involve risks and uncertainties.  Actual results may differ materially from the results in these forward-looking statements.  Factors that might cause such a difference include, among other matters, satisfaction of the closing conditions set forth in the agreements related to the proposed branch acquisition, including receipt of necessary regulatory approval; the success or failure of integrating operations, and the ability to capitalize on growth opportunities upon entering new markets; changes in local economic and business conditions, including, without limitation, changes related to the oil and gas industries, that could adversely affect customers and their ability to repay borrowings under agreed upon terms, adversely affect the value of the underlying collateral related to their borrowings, and reduce demand for loans; increased competition for deposits and loans which could affect compositions, rates and terms; loss of critical personnel and the challenge of hiring qualified personnel at reasonable compensation levels; and other factors discussed under the heading “Risk Factors” in MidSouth’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2010 filed with the SEC on March 16, 2011 and in its other filings with the SEC.

Teixeira describes the debt deal’s potential impact on homeowners and prospective homebuyers.

“Uncertain economic times will affect homeowners in time.”

However, if homebuyers have been waiting for opportune market timing, this may be it. Interest rates are low, there is inventory out there, and we are working in a known market. Who knows what fall will bring.

Burlingame REALTOR Mary Ann Teixeira says that the debt deal and decrease in credit standing of the government not only affects the stock market, as have been seen the past few days, it will trickle down through the rest of the economy—especially to the housing market. Potential homebuyers need to know the facts.

“We are navigating a precarious course with the financial markets right now,” said Teixiera. “With the passage of the debt deal, we will soon see it manifest itself on the housing market.”

Teixeira says that it always takes time for the impact to really be felt. Right now the sell-off in the stock market has investors placing their money in Treasury securities, and because mortgage rates track yields on the 10-year Treasury notes, interest rates are low.

As part of the long-term spending cuts that must be agreed upon this fall, lawmakers have been debating a proposal for a simplified tax structure with lower rates and elimination of tax deductions.

Right now, home loan borrowers can deduct the amount of interest they pay on their mortgages from their taxable income. The interest deduction is capped at the first million dollars of debt on the home. There is a proposal now to reduce the cap to $500,000. Currently the deduction costs the U.S. Treasury about $100 billion a year. Reducing the cap to $500,000 would save the Treasury $15 billion.

“How the long term decisions and adjustments will play out is unknown right now,” said Teixeira. “However, if homebuyers have been waiting for the opportune time to enter the market, this may be it. Interest rates are low, there is ample inventory, and we are working in a known market. Who knows what fall will bring.”

For additional information about financial implications of the economy on homebuying or San Francisco Bay Area real estate and relocation, call Mary Ann Teixeira at (650) 241-0318, or visit her website at

About Mary Ann Teixeira
Mary Ann Teixeira is a licensed Bay Area REALTOR® with McGuire Real Estate in Burlingame, California who specializes in relocation services, homes for sale, and luxury homes. She is a seasoned buyer’s agent who serves the San Francisco Bay Area Peninsula communities of Atherton, Burlingame, Cupertino, Hillsborough, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Los Gatos, Menlo Park, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Portola Valley, Redwood City, San Carlos, San Jose, San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Woodside.

West Bancorporation, Inc. (Nasdaq: WTBA) (the “Company”), parent company of West Bank, announces that it has redeemed all $36,000,000 of the preferred stock it sold to the United States Treasury on December 31, 2008, under the Capital Purchase Program (“TARP”).

“We are extremely pleased to be able to repay all of the TARP funds so quickly while maintaining our well-capitalized status without borrowing any money or issuing any stock,” said David Nelson, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company.  “We participated in TARP out of an abundance of caution given the historic turmoil in the capital markets during 2008, and that turned out to be a wise decision.  Since then we have navigated through some tough financial storms and now we are confident of our future without government investment.  Redemption of the TARP stock is very good news for our shareholders and the Company because we are now relieved of some additional regulatory burdens and we no longer have to pay preferred stock dividends.  Since December 31, 2008, we have paid $4,495,000 in dividends to the Treasury.  We can now use our improving earnings to compensate our shareholders and retain capital for future growth.”

West Bancorporation, Inc. is headquartered in West Des Moines, Iowa.  Serving Iowans since 1893, West Bank, a wholly-owned subsidiary of West Bancorporation, Inc., is a community bank that focuses on lending, deposit services and trust services for consumers and small- to medium-sized businesses.  West Bank has two full-service offices in Iowa City, one full-service office in Coralville, and eight full-service offices in the greater Des Moines area.

Certain statements in this press release, other than purely historical information, including estimates, projections, statements relating to our business plans, objectives, and expected operating results, and the assumptions upon which those statements are based, are “forward-looking statements” within the meanings of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  Forward-looking statements may appear throughout this press release. These forward-looking statements are generally identified by the words “believes,” “expects,” “intends,” “should,” “anticipates,” “projects,” “future,” “may,” “should,” “will,” “strategy,” “plan,” “opportunity,” “will be,” “will likely result,” “will continue,” or similar references, or references to estimates, predictions, or future events.  Such forward-looking statements are based upon certain underlying assumptions, risks, and uncertainties.  Because of the possibility that the underlying assumptions are incorrect or do not materialize as expected in the future, actual results could differ materially from these forward-looking statements.  Risks and uncertainties that may affect future results include: interest rate risk; competitive pressures; pricing pressures on loans and deposits; changes in credit and other risks posed by the Company’s loan and investment portfolios, including declines in commercial or residential real estate values or changes in the allowance for loan losses dictated by new market conditions or regulatory requirements; actions of bank and non-bank competitors; changes in local and national economic conditions; changes in regulatory requirements, limitations, and costs; changes in customers’ acceptance of the Company’s products and services; and any other risks described in the “Risk Factors” sections of reports made by the Company to the Securities and Exchange Commission.  The Company undertakes no obligation to revise or update such forward-looking statements to reflect current or future events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.

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