Provident Financial Services Inc is a Delaware corporation which, on January 15, 2003, became the holding company for The Provident Bank (the Bank), following the completion of the conversion of the Bank to a stock chartered savings bank. The Company conducts its business through the Bank, which is a community- and customer-oriented bank currently operating approximately 77 full-service branches in ten counties throughout northern and central New Jersey. It provides banking services to individual and business customers through branch offices in New Jersey. The Bank is a New Jersey-chartered capital stock savings bank. It emphasizes personal service and customer convenience in serving the financial needs of the individuals, families and businesses residing in its markets. The Bank attracts deposits from the general public in the areas surrounding its banking offices and uses those funds, together with funds generated from operations and borrowings, to originate commercial real estate loans, residential mortgage loans, commercial business loans and consumer loans. The Bank also invests in mortgage-backed securities and other permissible investments. The Bank originates commercial real estate loans that are secured by income-producing properties such as multi-family residences, office buildings, and retail and industrial properties. It provides construction loans for both single family and condominium projects intended for sale and projects that would be retained as investments by the borrower. It originates consumer loans that are secured, in cases, by a borrowers assets. Home equity loans and home equity lines of credit that are mainly secured by a second mortgage lien on the borrowers residence comprise the largest category of the Banks consumer loan portfolio. Commercial loans are loans to businesses of varying size and type within the Banks market. The Bank lends to established businesses, and the loans are generally secured by business assets such as equipment, receivables, inventory, real estate or marketable securities. The Bank conducts business through approximately 77 full-service branch offices located in Hudson, Bergen, Essex, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset and Union Counties, New Jersey. The Banks lending activities, though concentrated in the communities surrounding its offices, extend predominantly throughout the State of New Jersey. The Bank faces intense competition both in originating loans and attracting deposits. Its direct competition for deposits has come from the several commercial banks and savings banks in the market area. The Company is subject to regulation, supervision and examination by the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance, its chartering authority, and by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, as insurer of its deposits.