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Third Federal and Ohio Central Savings Announce First Partnership Under Mutual Partnership Program.

Business Editors

CLEVELAND--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 1, 2001

Third Federal Savings and Loan, MHC, today announced the formation of its Mutual Partnership Program.

The program is designed to promote the benefits of a mutual (cooperative) operating structure while allowing individual institutions to retain their independence. Ohio Central Savings is the first partner in this program with Third Federal's family of banking-related companies.

Under the Mutual Partnership Program, Ohio Central Savings will join Third Federal as a partner and will retain its name, management, associates and board of directors. This is the first merger of its kind where two mutuals join in a partnership but retain their individual identities.

"Third Federal's mission is to create value -- for our customers, our communities we serve and our associates," said Marc A. Stefanski, chairman and chief executive officer of Third Federal. "The goal of the Mutual Partnership Program is to provide smaller mutuals access to greater resources. We are excited to have Ohio Central Savings join our Mutual Partnership Program and we see tremendous opportunities for growth."

"We're pleased to be the first partner in the Mutual Partnership Program," said Robert W. Hughes, president and chief executive officer of Ohio Central Savings. "It is a positive alternative to stock conversion and other capital-raising choices. Third Federal's mission of creating value, as well as its culture, business philosophy and long-term strategy are closely aligned with ours and we look forward to a successful partnership."

The mutual operating structure of the Mutual Partnership Program allows partners to share ideas and resources while maintaining their independence. It is a sound alternative to stock conversion, something that many savings institutions as well as credit unions, should consider. Ohio Central also benefits from having the ability to attract and retain qualified management and associates through compensation plans as attractive as those available under public company structures. Through the Mutual Partnership Program, the partners can maintain a long-term strategic focus and gain increased operating flexibility.

Third Federal benefits in many ways as well, such as gaining access to management talent, broadening product lines through the partnerships, lowering expenses through consolidating reporting and taxes, and furthering its mission to create value.

Thomas Parliment, PhD, an industry consultant, says the Mutual Partnership Program can be a "highly effective means of helping mutual associations garner the benefits of a large organization while keeping their autonomy and small community bank focus."

Third Federal Savings and Loan Association, named consecutively in the last two years to the Fortune list of "100 Best Companies to Work For," is a leading provider of savings and mortgage products. Founded in 1938 by Ben and Gerome Stefanski, Third Federal is dedicated to serving consumers with competitive rates and outstanding customer service. Third Federal, an equal housing lender, serves customers from 30 branches and eight lending offices in Ohio and from 14 branches in Florida. As of December 31, 2000, Third Federal had total assets of $6.6 billion.

Ohio Central Savings, a federal savings association, was founded in 1949 and currently serves more than 14,000 members (20,000 accounts) throughout the world. Ohio Central, originally chartered as a credit union, converted to a mutual savings institution to better service its members. It currently has offices in Cleveland and Dublin, Ohio.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Mar 1, 2001
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