Webster Bank Announces $850 Million in New Lending in 2010 Targeted at Small- and Medium-Sized Businesses in New England

Jan 04, 2010, 11:06 ET from Webster Financial Corporation

WATERBURY, Conn., Jan. 4 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Webster Bank, the main subsidiary of Webster Financial Corporation (NYSE: WBS), announced today that it intends to expand its business lending by $400 million in 2010 in order to stimulate economic growth and job creation across Webster's four-state region. In total, Webster expects to originate more than $850 million in new loans to businesses this year.

"Our economy is at an inflection point and poised to resume growth," said James C. Smith, Webster chairman and CEO. "As the largest independent commercial bank headquartered in New England, we believe we have a special responsibility to provide the credit that businesses in our region need to grow and get Americans back to work. By announcing our intent to expand our lending to small- and medium-sized businesses by over $400 million in 2010, we are reminding New England businesses that Webster Bank is here to help them to achieve their financial goals."

Smith continued, "Helping customers during difficult times is part of Webster's DNA. My father founded this bank in 1935 during the depths of the Great Depression to help hard-working families to build their own homes at a time when it was very difficult to get such loans. Today, businesses and consumers can look to Webster for all of their banking needs."

Serving businesses, consumers, and governmental entities stretching from Boston's financial district through Westchester County in New York with 181 branches, 492 ATMs, and a robust online presence, Webster Bank delivers the full suite of financial products and services of a big bank with the personal service of a local bank.

Webster has a demonstrated record of helping small and medium-sized businesses grow. For the second consecutive year, Webster Bank was named Connecticut's number one U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) lender, both in terms total loans and total dollar value, for 2009. For the eighth straight year in 2009, Webster was the state's top SBA 504 lender, and it was also Connecticut's number one lender for the SBA's new America's Recovery Capital (ARC) Loan Program. Webster was the leading SBA lender to minority and women-owned businesses in Connecticut.

In consumer lending, Webster has enabled hundreds of homeowners over the past year to modify nearly $80 million in outstanding mortgage balances and remain in their homes. Smith added, "Throughout these trying times, we have worked constructively with our borrowers who are facing hardship and have not had to revert to adversarial proceedings."

About Webster

Webster Financial Corporation is the holding company for Webster Bank, National Association. With $17.8 billion in assets, Webster provides business and consumer banking, mortgage, financial planning, trust and investment services through 181 banking offices, 492 ATMs, telephone banking and the Internet. Webster Bank owns the asset-based lending firm Webster Business Credit Corporation, Center Capital Corporation, an equipment finance company headquartered in Farmington, Conn., and provides health savings account trustee and administrative services through HSA Bank, a division of Webster Bank. Member FDIC and equal housing lender. For more information about Webster, including past press releases and the latest annual report, visit the Webster website at www.websteronline.com.

Forward-looking statements

This press release may contain forward looking statements within the meaning of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Actual results could differ materially from management expectations, projections and estimates. Factors that could cause future results to vary from current management expectations include, but are not limited to, general economic conditions, legislative and regulatory changes, monetary and fiscal policies of the federal government, changes in tax policies, rates and regulations of federal, state and local tax authorities, changes in interest rates, deposit flows, the cost of funds, demand for loan products, demand for financial services, competition, changes in the quality or composition of our loan and investment portfolios, changes in accounting principles, policies or guidelines, and other economic, competitive, governmental and technological factors affecting our operations, markets, products, services and prices. Some of these and other factors are discussed in the annual and quarterly reports of Webster Financial Corporation previously filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Such developments, or any combination thereof, could have an adverse impact on the company's financial position and results of operations. Except as required by law, Webster does not undertake to update any such forward looking statements.

SOURCE Webster Financial Corporation