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Jefferson Bank Will Double Its Branches and Expand Consumer Lending Production Staff in Philadelphia.

PHILADELPHIA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 6, 1999--

CEO Betsy Z. Cohen Says Proposed Agreement With Hudson United Bancorp

Will Enhance Jefferson Bank Brand and Service in the Delaware Valley

Betsy Z. Cohen, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of JeffBanks, Inc. (NASDAQ:JEFF) and its subsidiary Jefferson Bank, said that the 25-year old institution will have more regional presence - with the same name, Jefferson Bank - and offer even more financial services after the proposed merger with Hudson United Bancorp.

Jefferson will not lose staff at its 1845 Walnut St. headquarters in Philadelphia, and Cohen expects the Bank to aggressively add consumer lenders who will support the growth of a number of business lines, including merchant card, installment lending, indirect auto lending, retail leasing, home equity loans and residential mortgage loans.

While Jefferson Bank will operate as a separate Division of Hudson United Bancorp, Cohen said that the agreement called for Hudson United to relocate its headquarters for these business lines to Jefferson's Philadelphia offices.

Cohen, who will be the largest shareholder of Hudson United, will join the Executive Committee of the Board of Hudson United Bancorp. She has chosen for her only corporate title that of Chairman and CEO of the Jefferson Bank Division. Cohen said that the unusual agreement (whereby Jefferson Bank will be a division, as opposed to a subsidiary, of Hudson United Bank) was in keeping with Jefferson's pioneering style and commitment to its customers.

"In a typical acquisition," said Cohen, "Jefferson's highly personal way of doing things, our name and our staff organization would have been obliterated. Instead, we sought an operational alliance that would help us operate more efficiently and grow our commercial lending portfolio, while also keeping our name and decision-making processes in place. We chose an alliance with Hudson United because it really is a group of community-dedicated banks. An added bonus to our customers is that they will now enjoy Jefferson Bank's excellent customer service at approximately 60 regional branches, instead of 30, and that Pennsylvania and New Jersey customers may now make transactions across state lines."

Cohen says she will remain in control of Jefferson Bank, which she founded in 1974. She laughs at the suggestion that she will shortly leave the post she has held for a quarter-century: "My children say that my best earning years are ahead of me," Cohen said. Jefferson's agreement with Hudson United requires the Jefferson Bank Division to operate as such for not less than three years.

Cohen added that part of the motivation for the alliance with Hudson United Bancorp was her ongoing desire to keep ahead of the needs of Jefferson's business customers.

"By continuing to offer more sophisticated services and excel in our niche as a leading service provider to small and mid-sized businesses," Cohen said, "we have been able to attract larger customers, as well. We have also seen many of our customers grow their businesses, to a point where they required services that we, as Jefferson Bank alone, could not provide. With the added resources of Hudson United Bancorp, we will now be able to offer a slightly more diverse group of services from a larger platform, including international banking, asset-based lending, and trust services."

Cohen emphasized that Jefferson's highly experienced commercial lending department will remain intact, and that customer relationships will not be affected by the proposed agreement.

Retail customers will also be unaffected by the Hudson relationship, according to Cohen. Customers will maintain their existing Jefferson Bank branch relationships, and will continue to speak with their familiar branch staff for banking concerns.

Cohen said, "We want Jefferson Bank customers to understand that this is an operational alliance, which will primarily affect the backroom functions of the Bank. I am personally committed to maintaining the community bank culture of Jefferson Bank, and I am supported in this commitment by Jefferson's President and COO, Robert B. Goldstein, and by our senior managers, as well as by Ken Neilson, the Chairman, President and CEO of Hudson United Bancorp."

Customers are encouraged to call their Jefferson Bank Branch Manager with any questions relative to the agreement, or to call 215/861-7000 or email tjeff@jeffbanks.com.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jul 6, 1999
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