14 November 2008

Hartford Insurance Becomes a Savings and Loan and Taps Uncle Sugar's CPP

There seems to be a bias to do whatever it takes to support big bonus and dividend paying financial companies, even one as diverse as GE, but to continue to let the manufacturing sector and blue collar jobs go to hell in a handbasket for the sake of global competitiveness and lower wages.

Yesterday the talking heads on Bloomberg and CNBC were ripping US manufacturing for its bad management practices, and blue collar workers for their extravagant wages, while praising the use of public money to generously subsidize the financial sector that caused this mess.

It was a truly Orwellian moment. What a collection of shameless, self-serving parasites!

Hartford's stock jumped 25% on the news, and helped to buoy the market. This did not last as the markets sold off heavily in the last half of hour trading. This Administration's economic policies are as bankrupt as they have left the Treasury.

The Hartford Announces Agreement To Acquire Federal Trust Bank
And Application To U.S. Treasury Capital Purchase Program

Friday November 14, 3:20 pm ET

HARTFORD, Conn. - The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: HIG) today announced that it has applied to the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) to become a savings and loan holding company and has applied to participate in the U.S. Treasury Department’s Capital Purchase Program (CPP).

In conjunction with these applications, The Hartford has signed a merger agreement to acquire the parent company of Federal Trust Bank for approximately $10 million and will also provide an additional amount to recapitalize the bank. Federal Trust Bank, a federally chartered, FDIC-insured savings bank is owned by Federal Trust Corporation, a unitary thrift holding company headquartered in Sanford, Fla. The completion of this acquisition will satisfy a key eligibility requirement for participation in CPP.

“We are taking these actions as a strong and well-capitalized financial institution looking for maximum flexibility and stability,” said Ramani Ayer, The Hartford’s chairman and chief executive officer. “Securing capital at the terms available through the Capital Purchase Program could be a prudent course in this market environment and would allow us to further supplement our existing capital resources.”

The Hartford’s purchase of Federal Trust Corporation is contingent on Treasury’s approval of The Hartford’s participation in the CPP, approval of the acquisition by the shareholders of Federal Trust Corporation, and the Office of Thrift Supervision’s approval of The Hartford’s application to become a savings and loan holding company. The Hartford estimates that it would be eligible for a capital purchase of between $1.1 billion and $3.4 billion under existing Treasury guidelines. The final amount of capital request will be determined following approval by Treasury.

About Federal Trust Corporation

Federal Trust Corporation is a unitary thrift holding company and is the parent company of Federal Trust Bank, a federally-chartered, FDIC-insured savings bank. Federal Trust Bank operates 11 full-service offices in Seminole, Orange, Volusia, Lake and Flagler Counties, Florida. The company's executive and administrative offices are located in Sanford, in Seminole County, Florida.