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DIRECTORS SLATE APPROVED BY OVER 70 PERCENT OF FIRST EASTERN'S SHAREHOLDERS; ROSS REPORTS TIER I CAPITAL AT 7.2 PERCENT FOR CORPORATION

 DIRECTORS SLATE APPROVED BY OVER 70 PERCENT OF FIRST EASTERN'S SHAREHOLDERS; ROSS REPORTS TIER I CAPITAL AT 7.2 PERCENT FOR CORPORATION
 Faber States Confidence in First Eastern's Future
 WILKES-BARRE, Pa., April 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Stockholders who attended First Eastern Corp.'s (NASDAQ: FEBC) annual meeting at Genetti Hotel and Convention Center, Wilkes-Barre, heard in an address by Richard M. Ross Jr., chairman and chief executive officer, that there are many fundamental operating strengths at First Eastern that will serve as a base to build on as the company goes forward.
 These strengths include substantial liquidity combined with a strong core funding base and a profitable retail banking franchise.
 Ross pointed out that while capital levels remain within regulatory guidelines, additional capital as agreed upon with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency will give First Eastern the financial strength necessary to return profitability to historically high levels. Tier I capital currently is 7.2 percent for the corporation above the regulatory requirement of 4 percent. At the same time, Ross reassured depositors that the company's level of short-term high quality investments, amounting to approximately $300 million, is more than sufficient to meet liquidity requirements.
 "Despite the difficulties encountered in 1991 and some of the most unfortunate publicity imaginable," Ross said, "We managed to retain our leading market share of 23.7 percent of deposits in our primary market area." First Eastern did an excellent job of maintaining core deposits and developing new savings products, while offering existing products at competitive rates, the company said.
 Ross also recapped a number of actions taken to improve the company's performance, including establishing a risk management department staffed with experienced loan workout specialists. Additionally, new policies and procedures to modify its lending practices were implemented as well as efforts to reduce expenses and lower costs without jeopardizing customer service. It was noted that salaries and benefits were reduced over $700,000 from the first quarter of 1991.
 Commenting on First Eastern's future direction, Eberhard Faber IV chairman of the executive committee of the board of directors, said, "The bank has a long distinguished history of providing high quality financial services to its local communities. The appropriate strategy for First Eastern in the future is to concentrate on our strengths in the retail banking, trust, and capital market areas."
 During the course of the meeting, Ross re-emphasized that the bank and its board of directors is not under investigation by the FBI for misstatements made to federal regulators. Finally, the shareholders of the bank voted overwhelming to elect a slate of directors which included Eberhard Faber IV, Clair C. Hock, Paul D. Horger, Lawrence F. Keba, and Stanford L. Weiss.
 /delval/
 -0- 4/15/92
 /CONTACT: Anthony Cusatis of First Eastern Corp., 717-821-3211/
 (FEBC) CO: First Eastern Corp. ST: Pennsylvania IN: FIN SU:


JS -- PH028 -- 8767 04/15/92 13:44 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 15, 1992
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