• Washington Trust Bancorp, Inc.
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  • Washington Trust Annual Meeting Highlights Exceptional 2004 Performance; First Quarter 2005 Results; Weston Financial Acquisition
    Company Release - 04/26/2005 12:00

    WESTERLY, R.I.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 26, 2005--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, 2004. Approximately 200 shareholders and guests attended the Meeting at the Westerly Public Library.

    "Washington Trust had an exceptional year in 2004," stated John C. Warren, Washington Trust's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. He added, "We had double-digit growth in our major lines of business. Total loans rose by 30 percent, including a 24 percent in commercial loans and a 40 percent increase in consumer loans. We also had solid deposit growth, with total deposits up 21 percent in 2004. In addition, trust and investment management revenues increased 21 percent from year-end 2003."

    David V. Devault, Executive Vice President, Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer, discussed the Corporation's 2004 financial results and first quarter 2005 performance. He stated, "First quarter 2005 net income amounted to $5.4 million, a 9% increase from the same quarter in 2004. Earnings per share, on a diluted basis, amounted to 40 cents per share." Devault added, "We increased the dividend for the thirteenth consecutive year and continued to maintain excellent asset quality."

    At the Meeting, Warren also commented on Washington Trust's March 21, 2005 announcement that the Corporation had signed a definitive agreement to acquire Weston Financial Group, a $1.2 billion high net worth investment advisor located in Wellesley, Mass. "In our efforts to grow the Corporation and sustain continued earnings improvement, Washington Trust has made several strategic acquisitions over the past 6 years, including: Pier Bank, Inc. in 1999; Phoenix Investment Management in 2000; First Financial Corp. in 2002; and now Weston Financial in 2005." Adding, "This acquisition provides excellent opportunities for growth in the wealth management area." Washington Trust expects the Weston Financial acquisition to be completed in the third quarter of 2005, after regulatory approvals are received.

    During the business portion of the Meeting, Gary P. Bennett, Larry J. Hirsch, Mary E. Kennard, H. Douglas Randall III, and John F. Treanor were elected to the Corporation's Board of Directors for terms ending in 2008. In other business, shareholders ratified the selection of KPMG LLP as independent auditors for the Corporation for the current fiscal year ending December 31, 2005.

    The audio and slide portions of the Annual Meeting are available on Washington Trust's website, http://investorrelations.washtrust.com.

    Washington Trust Bancorp, Inc. is the parent of The Washington Trust Company, the largest independent bank headquartered in Rhode Island. Founded in 1800, Washington Trust is a Rhode Island state-chartered bank offering 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
                 Elizabeth B. Eckel
                 Senior Vice President, Marketing
                 401-348-1309
                 ebeckel@washtrust.com
    
        SOURCE: Washington Trust