Conn.’s Webster Converts to Federal Charter

April 23, 2004

Webster Financial Corporation (NYSE: WBS) announced that its principal subsidiary, Webster Bank, has completed its conversion from a federal savings bank to a national bank charter, regulated by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC).

In addition, Webster Financial Corporation is now a bank holding company, subject to regulation by the Federal Reserve Board. With $15.1 billion in assets, Webster is the largest Connecticut-based bank.

Webster chairman and chief executive officer, James C. Smith, stated: “Today marks the completion of Webster’s transformation to a full service commercial bank and is a significant step toward our goal of becoming the leading provider of financial services to individuals, families, and businesses in the markets we serve. As a commercial bank, we are able to provide a wider range of products and services, creating value for customers and shareholders, alike. We look forward to working with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency as we continue our strategic growth and strengthen our competitive position.”

As a commercial bank, Webster will be able to grow its commercial lending portfolio beyond statutory limitations imposed on thrift institutions.

Webster Financial Corporation is the holding company for Webster Bank, N.A. and Webster Insurance. Webster Bank owns the asset-based lending firm Webster Business Credit Corporation, the insurance premium finance company Budget Installment Corp., and Center Capital Corporation, an equipment finance company headquartered in Farmington, Connecticut. In addition, Webster expects to close on its acquisition of FIRSTFED AMERICA BANCORP, INC., which has $2.6 billion in assets, during the second quarter of 2004.

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