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Bridge Bancorp not to participate in US Treasury’s CPP

The board decided participation in the CPP was not in favour of shareholders

Bridge Bancorp, the parent company of The Bridgehampton National Bank, has decided not to participate in the U.S. Department of Treasury’s capital purchase programme.

Bridge Bancorp received preliminary approval from the Treasury on January 7, 2009 for a $15 million capital investment.

Kevin O’Connor, president and CEO of Bridge Bancorp, said: We are pleased to have received the Treasury’s approval. However, after careful consideration of all relevant factors, management and the board determined that participation in the Treasury’s capital purchase programme (CPP) was not in the best interest of our shareholders.

Without accepting the CPP funds the company remains above the well-capitalised regulatory guidelines and at December 31, 2008, our leverage ratio was 6.9%, the tier one risk based ratio was 10.3% and the total risk based capital ratio was 11.1%.

The U.S. Treasury’s capital purchase programme is a voluntary programme designed to assist healthy institutions build their capital positions to support the U.S. economy by increasing the flow of financing to the U.S. businesses and consumers. Under the programme, senior preferred stock is issued to the U.S. Department of Treasury. The preferred stock will pay a dividend for the first five years, after which the rate will increase to 9% if the preferred shares are not redeemed by the company.