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ESSEX FINANCIAL PARTNERS ANNOUNCES FIRST QUARTER RESULTS

 ESSEX FINANCIAL PARTNERS ANNOUNCES FIRST QUARTER RESULTS
 VIRGINIA BEACH, Va., May 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Gene D. Ross, the newly appointed chief executive officer of Essex Bancorp, the savings and loan holding company for Essex Financial Partners, L.P. (AMEX: ESX), today announced the partnership's operating results for the quarter ended March 31, 1992. The net loss for the first three months was $2.8 million, compared to the net income of $256,000 for the first quarter of 1991. This equates to a loss of $1.33 per Class A Limited Partnership Unit in 1992, compared with net income of 7 cents per Class A Unit in 1991. Partnership assets at March 31, 1992, were approximately $467 million, compared to $489 million at Dec. 31, 1991.
 The first quarter 1992 results were positively impacted by net interest income, which increased to $2.7 million for the first three months of 1992, as compared to $2.4 million for the same period in the prior year. The increase is attributed to deposit costs declining at a faster rate than mortgage loan rates and having the Virginia and Florida banks fully invested. The provision for possible loan losses increased to $1.7 million in 1992 from $172,200 for the first three months of 1991. The increase is attributed to fully reserving an unsecured commercial loan to a real estate development and property management firm ($1.1 million) and increasing the quarterly provision for loan losses to reflect an increasing level of non-earning assets. Non-performing assets (after reserves) increased to $23.8 million at March 31, 1992, from $22.2 million at Dec. 31, 1991.
 Non-interest income increased $2.0 million, or 87.2 percent, over the same period in 1991, due to increased servicing fee income at Essex Mortgage Corp. (EMC) and significantly higher originating volume at Essex First Mortgage Corp. Non-interest expense increased by $3.7 million, or 83.2 percent, over the same period in 1991. The increased expense is the result of higher personnel expenses at Essex First Mortgage, increased amortization of servicing rights due to greater volume at EMC and a downward servicing rights valuation adjustment of $1.4 million at Essex Savings Bank, North Carolina, The adjustment in value at Essex Savings Bank, North Carolina, was a result of mortgage loans prepaying at a significantly higher rate than projected.
 The first quarter results will cause Essex Savings Bank, North Carolina, to fall below the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) minimum capital requirements in the core and risk-based categories. The Virginia and Florida Savings Banks are in full capital compliance. The continued capital shortfall in the North Carolina Savings Bank will require amending that savings bank's original capital plan, as filed in August 1991. The original plan has not yet been acted upon by OTS.
 Former management had announced on April 24, 1992, that the May 15, 1992, distribution to Class A Unit owners would be "delayed." The magnitude of current operating losses makes it highly unlikely that the May 15, 1992, distribution will be paid in the foreseeable future. The ability to make that distribution will be evaluated quarterly.
 As in the case of the reduced distributions previously announced for the quarters ended June 30, 1991, Sept. 30, 1991, and Dec. 31, 1991, the distribution deferral announced today does not suspend the right of owners of Class A Units to receive an 8 percent priority distribution when cash becomes available to make such a distribution. Any distribution shortfalls will continue to accumulate for the accounts of the Class A Unit owners.
 Essex Financial Partners, L.P., is a multi-state thrift holding company with operations in Virginia, North Carolina and Florida and a mortgage servicing company that is now servicing in excess of $2 billion in residential loans. On May 6, 1992, the partnership announced that Thrift Management Services I, Inc., had replaced Essex Financial Group, Inc., as general partner of the partnership, and that Ross had become the president and chief executive officer of Essex Bancorp.
 -0- 5/20/92
 /CONTACT: Lisa Nasis of Essex, 804-431-5605, or 800-274-9900/
 (ESX) CO: Essex Financial Partners, L.P. ST: Virginia IN: FIN SU: ERN


DC -- DC001 -- 2209 05/20/92 09:30 EDT
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Date:May 20, 1992
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