WESTERLY, R.I.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 18, 2003--The Board of
Directors of Washington Trust Bancorp, Inc., (NASDAQ: National Market;
symbol: WASH), today declared a quarterly dividend of 16 cents per
share for the quarter ending September 30, 2003, representing a 1 cent
increase over the dividend paid in the previous two quarters. This
marks our second dividend increase this year. The dividend is payable
October 15, 2003 to shareholders of record on October 2, 2003.
Washington Trust Chairman and CEO John C. Warren noted, "This
increased dividend allows our shareholders to take advantage of the
benefits of the new tax laws." He added, "Historically, dividends were
taxed like all other sources of income - such as wages and interest -
and were subject to those tax rates. The passage of the 2003 Tax Act
means that the maximum federal income tax rate for individuals on
qualifying dividends has been reduced to 15%, effective through 2008.
Lower taxes translate into more money in the pockets of our
Washington Trust Bancorp, Inc. will release its third quarter
earnings on Thursday, October 16, 2003 at 4:00 p.m. The release will
be followed by an earnings conference call and webcast on Friday,
October 17, 2003 at 8:30 a.m. The conference call can be heard over
the investor relations section of the Bank's website,
http://investorrelations.washtrust.com. This function may also be used
to sign up for an email alert.
Washington Trust Bancorp, Inc. is the parent company of The
Washington Trust Company, a Rhode Island chartered community bank
founded in 1800. The Bank offers a full range of financial services,
including trust and investment management, through its offices in
Rhode Island and southeastern Connecticut. Washington Trust Bancorp,
Inc.'s common stock trades on The Nasdaq Stock Market(R) under the
symbol WASH. Investment information about the Corporation is available
on the Internet at www.washtrust.com.
This report contains certain statements that may be considered
"forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the
Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. The Corporation's actual results,
performance or achievements could differ materially from those
projected in the forward-looking statements as a result, among other
factors, of changes in general national or regional economic
conditions, changes in interest rates, reductions in the market value
of trust and investment assets under management, reductions in deposit
levels necessitating increased borrowing to fund loans and
investments, changes in the size and nature of the Corporation's
competition, changes in loan default and charge-off rates and changes
in the assumptions used in making such forward-looking statements.
Shareholders should consult their own tax advisors regarding the tax
consequences of an investment in the Corporation, including holding
period and other limitations on the availability of the 15% federal
income tax rate on the Corporation's dividends.
CONTACT: Washington Trust Bancorp, Inc.
Elizabeth B. Eckel, 401-348-1309
SOURCE: Washington Trust Bancorp, Inc.