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Jul 31, 2008

Signature Bank Reports 2008 Second Quarter Results

Signature Bank Reports 2008 Second Quarter Results

  • Net Income Rose 6 Percent to $10.9 Million, or $0.36 Diluted Earnings Per Share, Versus $10.2 Million or $0.34 Diluted Earnings Per Share for the Second Quarter of 2007

  • Deposits Increased $278.4 Million in the Second Quarter, Totaling $4.87 Billion; Includes Core Deposit Growth of $169.8 Million and an Increase of $108.5 Million in Short-term Escrow Deposits

  • Loans Grew a Record $488.1 Million, or 22.0 Percent, to $2.71 Billion for the Quarter; Increase Attributed to Commercial Real Estate Loans, of which More Than Half were from Multi-Family Loans

  • Non-Performing Loans Decreased $10.9 Million in the Second Quarter to $29.1 Million or 1.1 Percent of Total Loans and 0.5 Percent of Total Assets

  • Net Interest Margin on a Tax-Equivalent Basis Expanded 10 Basis Points Compared with the 2008 First Quarter Reaching an All-Time High of 3.14 Percent

  • Two Top Deposit-Generating Private Client Banking Teams Joined During Quarter; Four Teams in Total added in First Half of 2008

NEW YORK ... JULY 31, 2008 ... Signature Bank (Nasdaq: SBNY), a New York-based full-service commercial bank, today announced results for its 2008 second quarter ended June 30, 2008.

Net income for the quarter reached $10.9 million or $0.36 diluted earnings per share, an increase of 5.9 percent when compared with net income of $10.2 million or $0.34 diluted earnings per share, reported in the 2007 second quarter. The growth in net income is attributable to several factors, including an increase in loans as a percentage of assets, deposit growth, net interest margin expansion and increased non-interest income. The growth in net income was partially offset by a 230 percent increase in the provision for loan losses.

Net interest income for the second quarter of 2008 reached $45.1 million, up $8.3 million, or 22.6 percent, versus the same period a year ago. Total assets were $6.37 billion at June 30, 2008, a $658.0 million, or 11.5 percent increase, when compared with $5.71 billion at the end of the 2007 second quarter.

Deposits rose $278.4 million in the current quarter to $4.87 billion at June 30, 2008. This includes core deposit growth of $169.8 million and an increase of $108.5 million in short-term escrow deposits. Excluding short-term escrow deposits of $145.5 million at December 31, 2007 and $205.1 million at June 30, 2008, core deposits increased $294.6 million during the first six months of 2008.

"Together, Vice Chairman John Tamberlane and I spent more than 30 years at Edmond Safra's Republic National Bank learning, firsthand, that a depositor-driven institution must maintain a strong balance sheet because from time-to-time the financial seas can become turbulent. Signature Bank's solid balance sheet and unwavering commitment to its fundamentals are allowing us to weather the industry's current storm and preserve our clients' trust. However, we remain cognizant of the current, overall economic environment and the potential for further impact in our marketplace. As a result, we have increased our provision for loan losses," said Joseph J. DePaolo, Signature Bank's President and Chief Executive Officer.

"Yet again, Signature Bank has proven its ability to successfully execute on its business plan during the current capital and credit markets turmoil. Our financial results continue to benefit from the Bank's dedication to its core banking model. This quarter's performance was successful across several key areas, including significant deposit and loan growth and solid increases in net interest margin and earnings. We distinguish ourselves from our peers by demonstrating an ongoing ability to generate deposits and attract quality loans while providing clients the service they require to succeed in their businesses. This is clearly a fortuitous time for a balance sheet lender like Signature Bank to capture additional market share. We are acquiring New York's top banking professionals, expanding our private client banking network and growing our client base. This quarter, we added two high-level, top-producing teams, each of whom has strong relationships within the areas they serve," DePaolo explained.

Scott A. Shay, Chairman of the Board, also commented on the Bank's strong second quarter results, stating: "Signature Bank's steadfast commitment to our core banking business has helped insulate us from the current instabilities facing the financial services arena today. We are pleased with the extraordinary loan and deposit growth realized during the first half of this year. It is our strong performance that is helping separate us from the pack in this uncertain banking arena. We are well-positioned for future growth: our platform is solid, our balance sheet is strong, our network is growing, and our performance is indicative of our commitment to successfully delivering time and again. I share the commitment of Joe, John and the Bank's senior management to always keep the safety of depositors our first and foremost mission as a financial institution. This commitment means that we do not follow any of the latest banking fads but rather keep our focus centered on prudent growth."

Net Interest Income
Net interest income on a tax-equivalent basis for the second quarter of 2008 was $45.2 million, an increase of $8.4 million, or 22.9 percent, from the same period last year. Average interest-earning assets for the 2008 second quarter increased $782.8 million, up 15.7 percent from the same period last year. Asset yields for the second quarter of 2008 decreased 70 basis points to 5.21 percent, versus the second quarter of last year.

Average costs of deposits and average costs of funds for the 2008 second quarter decreased by 100 and 93 basis points to 1.73 and 2.12 percent, respectively, when compared with the second quarter of last year. All of these decreases are predominantly due to lower prevailing interest rates.

The net interest margin on a tax-equivalent basis for the second quarter of 2008 increased 19 basis points to 3.14 percent versus the 2007 second quarter. On a linked quarter basis, net interest margin on a tax-equivalent basis grew 10 basis points, based on lower prevailing interest rates as well as an increase in loans as a percentage of assets. The decrease in the cost of deposits is reflective of the natural lag effect of the Bank's deposit repricing that occurs in a declining interest rate environment.

Non-Interest Income and Non-Interest Expense
Non-interest income for the second quarter of 2008 was $9.8 million, up $2.4 million, or 32.2 percent, versus $7.4 million reported in the second quarter of last year. This increase is primarily a result of commissions associated with off-balance sheet deposits and increased brokerage activities, as well as an increase in fees and service charges related to client expansion. Included in non-interest income is $1.8 million in net gains on sales of securities and loans, consisting of $1.4 million of gains on sales of securities and approximately $418 thousand in gains on sales of SBA securities and loans. Additionally, non-interest income for the 2008 second quarter was reduced by a $937 thousand write-down for other than temporary impairment on one security. The net unrealized depreciation on securities available-for-sale, net of tax, increased $22.2 million to $40.3 million at June 30, 2008 compared to December 31, 2007. This increase was driven by the overall widening of credit spreads and general illiquid market conditions. The Bank believes the recent declines in market value are temporary and the Bank has the positive intent and ability to hold securities to maturity and thus realize their full carrying value.

Non-interest expense for the 2008 second quarter was $30.7 million compared with $25.1 million reported in the 2007 second quarter. The increase of $5.6 million or 22.4 percent was mostly a result of the addition of new private client banking teams and offices.

The Bank's efficiency ratio was 56.0 percent for the second quarter of 2008 versus 56.8 percent for the comparable period a year ago. This improvement was primarily due to growth in net interest income and non-interest income.

Loans, excluding loans held for sale, rose $488.1 million, or 22.0 percent, in the 2008 second quarter to $2.71 billion at June 30, 2008, versus $2.22 billion at March 31, 2008. At June 30, 2008, loans were 42.5 percent of total assets, compared with 38.1 percent at the end of the 2008 first quarter. Average loans, excluding loans held for sale, reached $2.42 billion, up $331.6 million, or 15.8 percent, from March 31, 2008. The significant increase in loans for the quarter was driven by growth in commercial real estate loans, of which more than half were comprised of multi-family loans.

Loans held for sale were $180.7 million at June 30, 2008, representing an increase of $22.6 million, or 14.3 percent, from March 31, 2008. Periodic fluctuations of loans held for sale are predominantly due to the timing of SBA loan purchases and subsequent pool sales.

At June 30, 2008, non-performing loans were $29.1 million, representing 1.1 percent of total loans and 0.5 percent of total assets, compared to non-performing loans of $40.0 million, or 1.80 percent of total loans, at March 31, 2008. At the end of the 2008 second quarter, the ratio of allowance for loan losses to total loans was at 1.03 percent, compared with 1.04 percent at March 31, 2008 and 0.68 percent at June 30, 2007. The non-performing loan balance at June 30, 2008 is predominantly comprised of three loans.

The decrease in non-performing loans was primarily due to the positive resolution of two loans. One loan with an aggregate principal amount outstanding of $16.5 million was restructured, resulting in a significant paydown and a charge-off of approximately $500 thousand, and the second loan with an aggregate principal amount outstanding of $5.9 million was restructured.

Signature Bank's capital ratios remain strong. The Bank's tier 1 risk-based, total risk-based and leverage capital ratios were approximately 12.63 percent, 13.39 percent and 7.64 percent, respectively, as of June 30, 2008, well in excess of regulatory requirements. The ratios reflect the relatively low risk profile of the balance sheet.

Conference Call
Signature Bank's management will host a conference call to review results of the 2008 second quarter on Thursday, July 31, 2008, at 10:00 AM ET. All participants should dial 303-262-2193 at least ten minutes prior to the start of the call.

To hear a live web simulcast or to listen to the archived web cast following completion of the call, please visit the Bank's web site at, click on the "Investor Relations" tab, then select "Company News," followed by "Conference Calls," to access the link to the call. To listen to a telephone replay of the conference call, please dial 303-590-3000 and enter reservation identification number 11117953. The replay will be available from approximately 12:00 PM ET on Thursday, July 31, 2008, through 11:59 PM ET on Tuesday, August 5, 2008.

About Signature Bank

Signature Bank, member FDIC, is a New York-based full-service commercial bank with 21 private client offices located in the New York metropolitan area, serving the needs of privately owned businesses, their owners and senior managers through dozens of private client groups. The Bank offers a wide variety of business and personal banking products and services as well as investment, brokerage, asset management and insurance products and services through its subsidiary, Signature Securities Group Corporation, a licensed broker-dealer, investment adviser and member NASD/SIPC.

Signature Bank's 21 offices are located throughout the metropolitan New York area. In Manhattan - 261 Madison Avenue; 300 Park Avenue; 71 Broadway; 565 Fifth Avenue; 950 Third Avenue; 200 Park Avenue South and 1020 Madison Avenue. Brooklyn - 26 Court Street; 84 Broadway and 6321 New Utrecht Avenue. Westchester - 1C Quaker Ridge Road, New Rochelle and 360 Hamilton Avenue, White Plains. Long Island - 1225 Franklin Avenue, Garden City; 279 Sunrise Highway, Rockville Centre; 58 South Service Road, Melville; 923 Broadway, Woodmere; 40 Cuttermill Road, Great Neck and 100 Jericho Quadrangle, Jericho. Queens - 36-36 33rd Street, Long Island City and 78-27 37th Avenue, Jackson Heights. Bronx - 421 Hunts Point Avenue, Bronx.

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This press release and oral statements made from time to time by our representatives contain "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that are subject to risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements include information concerning our future results, interest rates and the interest rate environment, loan and deposit growth, loan performance, operations, new private client team hires, new office openings and business strategy. These statements often include words such as "may," "believe," "expect," "anticipate," "intend," "plan," "estimate" or other similar expressions. As you consider forward-looking statements, you should understand that these statements are not guarantees of performance or results. They involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. These factors include but are not limited to: (i) prevailing economic conditions; (ii) changes in interest rates, loan demand, real estate values, and competition, which can materially affect origination levels and gain on sale results in our business, as well as other aspects of our financial performance; (iii) the level of defaults, losses and prepayments on loans made by us, whether held in portfolio or sold in the whole loan secondary markets, which can materially affect charge-off levels and required credit loss reserve levels; and (iv) competition for qualified personnel and desirable office locations. Additional risks are described in our quarterly and annual reports filed with the FDIC. You should keep in mind that any forward-looking statements made by Signature Bank speak only as of the date on which they were made. New risks and uncertainties come up from time to time, and we cannot predict these events or how they may affect the Bank. Signature Bank has no duty to, and does not intend to, update or revise the forward-looking statements after the date on which they are made. In light of these risks and uncertainties, you should keep in mind that any forward-looking statement made in this release or elsewhere might not reflect actual results.

For Further Information:
Investor Contact:
Eric R. Howell
Chief Financial Officer 646-822-1402

Media Contact:
Susan J. Lewis