SOURCE: First Bank

October 15, 2008 15:05 ET

First Bank Reaches Capital Threshold and Receives All Necessary Regulatory Approvals

WILLIAMSTOWN, NJ--(Marketwire - October 15, 2008) - First Bank (OTCBB: FRBA) of Williamstown, New Jersey, announced today that the investor group working on the recapitalization has raised more than the $15 million necessary to consummate the transaction. The Bank has received subscription agreements and funds for $16 million through Friday, October 3, 2008. The investor group, led by Leslie E. Goodman and Patrick L. Ryan, expects to receive additional subscriptions over the next two weeks. The capital offering is scheduled to close on Friday, October 17, 2008.

The Bank has also received all the necessary regulatory approvals to finalize the transaction. The State of New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance has issued approval for the change in control and for the addition of a new bank branch located in Ewing, NJ. The FDIC issued a letter of non-objection, permitting the transaction to close.

Having received the requisite capital and regulatory approvals, the Bank expects to close the transaction on or before October 24, 2008.

"We are excited to close this transaction. We look forward to building a great community banking franchise in central and southern New Jersey," stated lead investor and future bank chairman Leslie E. Goodman. Mr. Goodman continued, "The upheaval that is taking place at the large investment banks and national commercial banks will create great opportunities for community banks like ours. Many high-quality banking customers will be looking for a new home. We believe our bank -- with its clean balance sheet, fresh capital, and experienced management and board -- will be perfectly positioned to attract and retain these customers."

President and CEO James Loney added, "The addition of fresh capital and great people will allow our organization to continue to grow and prosper. Together, our team will be able to achieve great things. The addition of a second bank branch and a larger legal lending limit will create immediate opportunities for us." Mr. Loney also emphasized the financial strength of the recapitalized bank, "which will have pro forma equity capital estimated at $25 million or more and a loan portfolio with no delinquencies."

"We have the capital, people, and expertise necessary to take advantage of the opportunities created by this current banking environment," stated lead investor Patrick L. Ryan. "As history has taught us, uncertainty creates opportunity for those with the vision, capabilities, and funding necessary to succeed. We believe that the movement of customers over the next 6-12 months from large-money center conglomerates to stable, well-run community banks may be sustained. Many good community banks will benefit from this transformation, and we hope to be one of the leaders of this group."

For questions or comments regarding the bank or the recapitalization, please contact James Loney (856 728 3400; jloney@firstbank-nj.com) or Patrick L. Ryan (609 528 0832; plryan_1999@yahoo.com).

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