• Washington Trust Bancorp, Inc.
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  • Washington Trust Annual Meeting Highlights Strong 2003 Results; Louis J. Luzzi Recognized Upon Retirement & 44 Years of Service to the Bank
    Company Release - 04/27/2004 12:30

    WESTERLY, R.I.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 27, 2004--Washington Trust Bancorp, Inc. (Nasdaq: WASH), parent of The Washington Trust Company, today held its Annual Meeting of Shareholders for the year ended December 31, 2003. Approximately 200 shareholders and guests attended the Meeting at the Westerly Public Library.

    "Washington Trust performed exceptionally well in 2003," stated John C. Warren, Washington Trust's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. He added, "We posted solid returns for our shareholders and saw the market value of our common stock increase 34% in 2003. We had good loan growth, including record mortgage volume, terrific home equity line growth, and solid new commercial loan business. Our trust and asset management area also had a good year, with assets under management increasing to $1.74 billion."

    David V. Devault, Executive Vice President, Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer, discussed the Corporation's 2003 financial results and first quarter 2004 performance. He stated, "First quarter 2004 net income amounted to $5 million, up 4 percent over net income reported for the first quarter of 2003." Devault added, "We increased the dividend for the twelfth consecutive year and continued to maintain excellent asset quality."

    At the Meeting, special recognition was paid to Louis J. Luzzi, Senior Vice President, Commercial Lending, who is retiring this week after a 44-year career with Washington Trust. Mr. Luzzi, a resident of Westerly, R.I., began his career with Washington Trust in 1960. Over the years he held many positions in the Bank, including serving as the first Branch Manager of Washington Trust's office located at 126 Franklin Street in Westerly. From there, he moved into the Commercial Lending department, where he achieved great success. "When we talk about the 'special spirit' of Washington Trust employees, there's no better example than Lou," Warren said.

    During the business portion of the Meeting, Barry G. Hittner, Katherine W. Hoxsie, Edward M. Mazze, Kathleen McKeough, Joyce O. Resnikoff, and John C. Warren were elected to the Corporation's Board of Directors for terms ending in 2007. In other business, shareholders ratified the selection of KPMG LLP as independent auditors for the Corporation for the current fiscal year ending December 31, 2004.

    Warren closed the Annual Meeting with a presentation on Washington Trust's new "Make it Happen" branding campaign. "Washington Trust is the largest independent bank headquartered in Rhode Island," he said. "We are also a community bank, which gives us a real opportunity to expand in the Ocean State." He continued, "No matter what your financial goals or dreams may be, Washington Trust has the right products, the right services, and the right attitude to "Make it Happen."

    The audio and powerpoint portions of the Annual Meeting will be available on the Washington Trust website, http://investorrelations.washtrust.com, at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, April 27, 2004.

    Washington Trust Bancorp, Inc. is the parent of The Washington Trust Company, a Rhode Island state-chartered 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. Investor information is available on the Corporation's web site: 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 loan demand, reductions in deposit levels necessitating increased borrowing to fund loans and investments, changes in loan default and charge-off rates, changes in the size and nature of the Corporation's competition, changes in legislation or regulation and accounting principles, policies and guidelines and changes in the assumptions used in making such forward-looking statements.

        CONTACT: Washington Trust Bancorp, Inc.
                 Elizabeth B. Eckel, 401-348-1309
        SOURCE: Washington Trust Bancorp, Inc.