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Webster Financial Corporation (NYSE: WBS) is a modern day commercial bank that specializes in residential mortgage, consumer, business, and commercial real estate loans. The Company operates over 180 branches in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New York, and manages a portfolio of approximately $17 billion.

The performance of Webster Financial's investments has been largely affected by the sub-prime credit meltdown. Webster holds a number of home equity and residential construction loans, and as such has experienced steep declines in valuation. [1] Nevertheless, the Company has no mortgage-backed collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) in its portfolio, and has announced plans to re-focus its business in pure commercial banking. [2] Due to its strong capital position, enhanced risk management, and favorable level of reserves, Webster is well equipped to weather the further deteriorating credit markets moving forward. [3]


Company Overview

Since 2006 Webster Financial has taken a number of initiatives to redefine its business. They completed a branding agreement with Walgreens, for example, which increased their existing ATM network by almost 50 percent to more than 500 ATMs. [4] More recently, WBS announced a program called OneWebster, an employee led earnings optimization plan designed to increase revenue and eliminate expenses in order to bring the bank's operating efficiency ratio down. The target goal is to spend less than $.60 per dollar of revenue by the end of 2008, down from about $.65 last quarter. [5]




References

  1. Webster Financial Annual Report, page 0
  2. Webster Financial Annual Report, page 0
  3. Webster Financial Annual Report, page 0
  4. Webster Financial Annual Report, page 0
  5. Webster Financial Annual Report, page 0
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