Campaign finance reform failure means caps on donations unlikely to occur until 2016 campaign cycle

first_imgby Nat Rudarakanchana May 14, 2013 Despite much political drama and grandstanding, campaign finance reform failed this year, which means tighter regulations on money in politics won’t be imposed until at least the 2016 elections.House Republican leadership refused to suspend legislative rules, which could have enabled passage in the short time left in this session. A conference committee to resolve differences between House and Senate versions of the reform only met formally for the first time Monday.Republican minority leader Don Turner and Democratic majority leader Bill Jewett discuss the orders of the day before the final day of the 2013 Vermont legislative session, on May 14, 2013. Photo by Nat Rudarakanchana/VTDigger.orgJust as important, the chambers failed to reach agreement on two major policy fronts. The House voted strongly, 96-49, to cap donations to Super PACs at $5,000, breaking with a recent legal guidance from the attorney general that  allowed unlimited contributions to Super PACs.Several senators felt uncomfortable with that cap, which would have likely provoked a legal challenge from conservative campaign finance lawyers. If the state lost that challenge, taxpayers would be liable for the plaintiff’s attorney’s fees.The House also voted for more liberal donation limits, allowing political parties to receive unlimited donations and edging up donation caps for statewide candidates. The Senate backed more restrictive caps, including an $85,000 limit on party donations and a ban on any one person donating more than $25,000, in total, per election cycle, to several candidates.Sen. Jeanette White, D-Windham, and Rep. Debbie Evans, D-Essex Junction, two key conference committee members, expressed  disappointment at the outcome, but said they would continue to meet in the fall, with the aim of reaching agreement by January.‘I would love to have passed it this year, but I think it’s more important to have a bill that does what we want it to do,’said White, who chairs the Senate Government Operations committee.If legislation is passed in early 2014, White said, at least some provisions could take effect in time for the 2014 elections. More frequent reporting requirements for candidates, PACs, and parties could apply to the 2014 election cycle, but donation limits wouldn’t, she said.‘Time was of the essence,’Evans said. ‘We were pushing (Super PAC) caps forward, and the Senate could not come to an agreement. That was the main sticking point.‘Obviously I’m disappointed,’she said. ‘A lot of people put a lot of work into it, and it’s a good piece of legislation. It’s what our constituents want and what’s needed.’She said it would increase political transparency and highlight ‘how money comes in, who’s giving money and how it’s being spent.’House Republican minority leader Don Turner, R-Milton, argued that with little time left, other legislative topics took priority, especially since there is still some controversy and disagreement over campaign finance provisions.‘Even our committee members agree, our caucus members agree: we’re not going to suspend the rules on campaign finance,’Turner said. ‘It’s going to wait until next year. It’s not important enough this session, not with what’s in it today.’Earlier this session House Republicans touted the importance of campaign finance reform. Several House Republicans however, criticized House legislation recently for approving legally risky restrictions on Super PACs.Sen. Anthony Pollina. VTD/Josh LarkinSen. Anthony Pollina, D-Washington, a Senate Government Operations committee member, said the absence of meaningful reform this session is disappointing but not surprising.He said he sensed that House, Senate and administration leadership attached little importance to the legislation. Campaign finance reform has not become law since 1997, when Pollina led the nonpartisan advocacy group VPIRG, which tracks campaign finance reform. Pollina helped craft that bill, which the U.S. Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional and unduly restrictive in 2006. The loss of that case cost Vermont taxpayers $1.6 million.Later attempts at reform in 2007 and 2008 were twice vetoed by then-Gov. Jim Douglas.‘This is not the first time, this has been going on for years,’said Pollina, who called the repeated failures a constant source of frustration. ‘For some reason, people in this building can’t seem to reach an agreement on how they should behave when it comes to their own campaigns.‘We’re comfortable telling other people what to do, and we’re willing to pass laws, but when it affects the people in this building, we can’t reach agreement,’he said.‘People can’t seem to be break out of this cycle of thinking that the way to combat big money is to bring in bigger money,’said Pollina, referring to lobbying by political parties, who want to remain free of donation caps, to better battle Super PACs. ‘I really don’t get it. Why is it so hard?’‘People in power don’t necessarily want to change the rules,’he continued. ‘From the start, my gut told me that the leadership really didn’t want to see these changes.’last_img read more

Champlain is top ‘Up-and-Comer’ college in US News ‘2014 Best Colleges’ ranking

first_imgChamplain College,Champlain College has been named the number one ‘Up-and-Comer’ regional college in the North according to the 2014 edition of “America’s Best Colleges,” released Tuesday by US News & World Report.The ‘Up-and-Comers’ ranking comes from a survey of college administrators in spring 2013 who were asked to nominate institutions that they think have recently made the most promising and innovative changes in the areas of academics, faculty, student life, campus, or facilities. Champlain College was most often cited by college presidents, provosts and admissions deans who were asked to identify up to 10 ‘up-and-coming schools.’Champlain was the only regional college listed in the north. Only two other regional colleges were listed in the south and none in the midwest or west regions.  ‘It reflects well upon our commitment to a new educational paradigm,’ said Champlain College President David F. Finney, ‘to create a college program designed to prepare students for a job at graduation while also providing them with a wonderful liberal arts curriculum that will enhance the quality of their life throughout their life and successive careers.’‘We believe Champlain College offers the most complete undergraduate education available and we are gratified that it is being noticed by our colleagues and our competitors in higher education,’ added Champlain Provost Robin Abramson.According to the latest U.S. News’ “Best Colleges,” Champlain also rose in the ranks to 14th “Best Regional Colleges in the North” which includes all the New England states, New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Pennsylvania. It was ranked 15th in 2013. There are 367 colleges in four regional categories of institutions that focus on undergraduate education and offer a range of degree programs in the liberal arts and professional fields. Four years ago, the annual survey named Champlain College one of the “Up and Coming Schools” in the Northeast.”The Champlain College community works very hard to ensure our students and families realize every dollar of value for their investment. This recognition is testimony to the unwavering commitment of our faculty and staff to embrace new and innovative ways to engage our students and prepare them for the 21st century job market. Moreover, this acknowledgement demonstrates that our colleagues at other institutions recognize Champlain as a role model in leading change in higher education ‘ it is very gratifying when professional peers notice this important work,” added Ian Mortimer, vice president of enrollment management at Champlain.Sarah Boston Andriano, director of undergraduate admission, told the incoming Class of 2017 at the start of the academic year that they were ‘academically one of the strongest classes in the history of Champlain College.’  This year, she said, was also one of the most competitive years for admission in the history of the College. ‘We had a record number of applications for admission, totaling more than 5,000. The average GPA and SAT score within the applicant pool for your freshman class were also record breaking.’ Champlain offers six of the top “Nine Hottest Majors” according to the US News annual survey in 2013, including computer game design, environmental policy, health information, cyber security, new media and information assurance.Since 1878, Champlain College has provided career-focused education to students from its hilltop campus in Burlington. Champlain’s distinctive educational approach embodies the notion that true learning only occurs when information and experience come together to create knowledge. Champlain offers traditional undergraduate and online undergraduate courses, along with online certificate and degree programs and eight master’s degree programs. Champlain students can study abroad at campuses in Montreal, Quebec and Dublin, Ireland.In describing the methodology used by the editors at U.S. News & World Report, Robert Morse wrote that ‘For families concerned with finding the best academic value for their money, the U.S. News Best Colleges rankings provide an excellent starting point for the search. They allow you to compare at a glance the relative quality of institutions based on such widely accepted indicators of excellence as freshman retention and graduation rates and the strength of the faculty.’ The U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges package represents the most comprehensive look at how more than 1,400 accredited four-year schools compare on a set of 15 widely accepted indicators of excellence. Among the many factors weighed in determining the rankings, the key measures of quality are: peer assessment, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, alumni giving, and graduation rate performance.A complete summary of the methodology used to rank each school can be found online at is external).The 2014 edition of the U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges book is available online and will be on newsstands Sept. 24.The ranking system, now in its 12th year, is controversial among many higher education institutions. However, the publication’s editors defend its annual lists as a useful tool for parents and students.According to the authors of the U.S. News “America’s Best Colleges,” the rankings are “an excellent starting point because they offer the opportunity to judge the relative quality of institutions based on widely accepted indicators of excellence. You can compare different schools’ numbers at a glance, and looking at unfamiliar schools that are ranked near schools you know can be a good way to broaden your search. The report uses a range of statistics and criteria such as SAT scores, graduation rates and peer assessment to formulate the ranking. More details are available at is external).PROSPECTIVE STUDENT OPEN HOUSE ON SEPT. 14Admission officers at Champlain College agree that the ranking is one way for students to learn about a school. “More importantly, we have found that prospective students are able to make the best decisions about their educational choices after visiting the campus, meeting other students, touring the facilities and using that knowledge to determine if a school is the right fit for their interests and career choices,” said Andriano.”This really compliments our recent top ranking with Princeton Review and speaks to the quality of education that our students experience,” Andriano added.Champlain also has demonstrated strong results in preparing graduates for the workplace. More than 90 percent of 2012 Champlain College bachelor degree graduates who answered the annual “Employment Survey” report they found employment within 12 months of graduation, according to the 2013 Champlain College Employment Report. Employment data for 89 percent of the graduating class was collected.The annual survey, conducted by the Champlain College Career Services Office, also shows that more than half of the seniors who graduated in May 2013 had accepted a job offer or expected to begin a job soon after they received their diploma. Of those with jobs, 88 percent said their post-graduation employment is “very” or “somewhat” related to their career goals.Champlain College will hold the first of its fall Open Houses for high school seniors on Saturday, Sept. 14, with a full program of information for prospective students, campus tours and opportunities to meet with students and faculty. A second fall open house will be held Oct. 26.(Sept. 10, 2013) – BURLINGTON, Vt. ‘ Champlain College For more information about the Open House, visit is external).  For more information about Champlain College, visit is external)last_img read more

PSB rejects motion opposing Vermont Gas pipeline

first_imgVermont Gas Systems Inc,Related Company: Vermont Gas Systems Incby John Herrick vtdigger.orgThe Vermont Public Service Board denied a motion to dismiss Vermont Gas Systems’ petition to construct Phase 2 of their natural gas pipeline extension Thursday. The motion claimed the board did not have jurisdiction over the application.Bristol attorney James Dumont, representing the Vermont Public Interest Research Group, argued that the pipeline falls under the jurisdiction of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission — not the board— because the pipeline would cross state lines.Dumont said Thursday the group would not appeal the decision.“The ruling is what it is,” he said.Vermont Gas’ application to construct the second phase of their Addison County pipeline extension would connect Middlebury to the International Paper mill in Ticonderoga, NY. The case is currently pending before the board.VPIRG opposes the pipeline expansion because Vermont Gas gets some of its gas from hydraulic fracturing, a process the group says damages surrounding land and causes water pollution.last_img read more

Environmental groups respond to wind developer’s withdrawal of interconnection request

first_imgThree Northeast Kingdom groups, Newark Neighbors United (NNU), Brighton Ridge Protectors (BRP) and Save Our Senecas (SOS) said they are elated and relieved with the decision by a Portsmouth NH industrial wind developer, Eolian LLC, to withdraw the interconnection request for its Seneca Mountain Wind project. On Wednesday May 21st, Jack Kenworthy, CEO of Eolian said in an e-mail to ISO-New England “Seneca Mountain Wind has decided to withdraw its interconnection request … we are disappointed by the need to make this decision.”Over the past two years, each of the rural towns targeted by Eolian for industrial scale development, {Newark, Brighton, and the Unified Towns and Gores (UTGs)} became educated on the realities of Industrial Wind. Long time Newark resident Nancy Fried said “Ridgeline industrial wind inflicts disastrous impacts upon wildlife habitat, fragile ecosystems, neighbors’ health, and property values, all while having an insignificant impact on Vermont’s greenhouse gas emissions. We should be doing useful things, smart things and effective things, and not ’just everything’, to address our concerns about climate change” she said.Each town voted overwhelmingly against the proposed SMW project. But it was the $86M price tag for a transmission infrastructure upgrade, and not respect for the wishes of the people of the Kingdom, that prompted the withdrawal.  Community organizer Noreen Hession reported “Neighbors are delighted to see Eolian leave.  Their presence has been a nuisance in the Kingdom for the past two years. While they repeatedly told voters they would leave if we voted for them to go away, it’s only the costs of a transmission infrastructure upgrade that put the final nail in their coffin.” Significant Vermont resources have been devoted to this project by the Agency of Natural Resources, Department of Public Services, Public Service Board, town officials and citizen volunteers. In addition considerable monies have been spent as legal costs mounted. Sutton resident Rob Pforzheimer added “These projects cause communities anxiety and divisiveness, while squandering money, time and precious Vermont assets. It’s time to stop wasting Vermont resources, and require an ISO New England system impact study (SIS) before any developer initiates any level of an energy generation project – including MET towers.”Hession added “While we are pleased with this turn of events, we know that our work is not done.  Changes to the cost-sharing formula for transmission upgrades could shift the financial burden from wind developers onto ratepayers. With ratepayers footing the transmission bill, it is conceivable that another opportunistic developer might be attracted to this location. This would place Vermont’s second-largest block of wildlife habitat back in jeopardy.”SOS cofounder Val Desmarais said “The knowledge that the mountains will be spared the assault of dynamite and bulldozers brings me great relief. We would like to extend our gratitude to the neighbors of Newark, Brighton, the UTGs, and beyond who contributed time and resources and enabled us to conduct outreach and educational efforts.”Said Brighton Ridge Protector president Pam Arborio “We’re looking for support from the Shumlin Administration that is similar to what Governor Dean did for Vermonters. In 2000, after towns voted against a Bennington-Rutland gas power plant and pipeline, Governor Dean withdrew his support for the project and vowed to do everything in his power to prevent it, saying “at some point you have to listen to the people.”  Arborio continued “While many pro-business legislators will proclaim that “developers have the right to propose things” our state government is allowing developers to use their money and influence to destroy our communities. That is something that we must address and change.  We take this opportunity to call on Governor Shumlin to work with the Vermont State Legislature to amend state law so that when towns vote ’no,’ we only have to do so once. It’s time to put Vermont communities, not merchant developers, in charge of developing renewables. And it’s time to guarantee that in Vermont, ‘no’ really means ‘no.’Added Hession “The past two years have been life altering.  As much as the interaction with the developers has been painful, I’ve also met some of the most committed environmentalists in Vermont: people with integrity, grit and passion who are determined that we will be thoughtful in our approach to climate change, and will not allow the same large scale corporations who created the problem offer industrial scale solutions that will enable them to profit by destroying our environment.”She continued, “We have learned a lot about energy, state policy and the regulatory process. We’ve learned a lot about the measures Vermonters can take to combat climate change effectively. These are complex matters and we are in a position to help other communities threatened by reckless development proposals. This is what we intend to do.”last_img read more

New company to bring energy savings within reach for underserved markets

first_imgThe Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (VEIC) today announced the launch of Commons Energy(link is external) L3C, a new subsidiary to help underserved markets such as hospitals, schools and other public entities to reduce their energy and water costs. Commons Energy is being launched with an initial capitalization of $6.5 million, including a $5 million “impact investment” from the John D and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation focused on multi-family housing. Additional support is being provided by the High Meadows Fund, the Kresge Foundation, the National Housing Trust, the Vermont Community Fund, and the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board.Commons Energy takes a comprehensive approach to helping reduce energy costs for owners of small and mid-size public purpose buildings such as schools, health care facilities, affordable multifamily housing, and municipal and community structures. The approach focuses on simplicity for the building owners, including an energy savings guarantee, so they can remain focused on serving their clients.“There are remarkable opportunities for energy savings available for hospitals, schools, and other public-serving entities,” said Scott Johnstone, Executive Director of VEIC. “For the first time, Commons Energy is going to make available to these entities energy-saving tools previously only available to much larger businesses.”For the customers it works with, Commons Energy will manage and coordinate project financing, monitor and verify energy-saving measures, and help owners manage their building performance for optimal energy use in the future. Commons Energy provides access to the capital needed for making the energy improvements, which is repaid with guaranteed energy savings. For all Commons Energy projects, a deep level of energy savings on the order of 30% will be targeted.For its inaugural project, Commons Energy is helping an affordable multi-family building in southern Vermont to reduce their energy costs. Union Square Apartments in Windsor, Vermont is replacing their oil heating system with a modern wood pellet biomass heating system, and installing new energy efficient circulator pumps. The new system will reduce their energy bills by nearly $23,000 annually, helping the building owner maintain a high level of affordability for the housing.“Working with Commons Energy has provided a unique opportunity for us to significantly reduce our heating costs with no upfront investment,” said Eric Schmitt, Director of Asset Management for Housing Vermont, which owns the building in partnership with the Windham & Windsor Housing Trust. “Every dollar we don’t needlessly spend on energy is one we can use to maintain the quality and affordability of this housing.”Commons Energy is initially launching its services in Vermont and the Washington, DC region, including Maryland and Virginia. In the future, it plans expansion to Ohio and other regions.“The lack of efficient, workable financing options is a critical hurdle to meaningful energy efficiency gains throughout the U.S. multifamily sector,” said Debra Schwartz, MacArthur’s Director of Program-related Investments. “Fortunately, there are a growing number of creative models such as Commons Energy that can help owners upgrade multifamily buildings in ways that significantly reduce energy usage while increasing local economic activity and improving long-term affordability for hard-pressed low-income renters.”Commons Energy is not affiliated with Common Sense Energy, a Vermont-based company focused on energy efficiency through building performance optimization.The Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (VEIC) is a mission-driven nonprofit organization founded in 1986 to reduce the economic and environmental costs of energy production and use through cost-effective energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies. For more information: is external).Commons Energy, L3C is a comprehensive total-energy solution for owners of small to mid-size multifamily affordable housing, education, health care, and community and municipal facilities who may have difficulty accessing capital, technical skills, and implementation services.Established as a low-profit, limited liability company (L3C), a form of LLC that balances social and financial returns, Commons Energy is a for-profit subsidiary of Vermont Energy Investment Corporation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing the economic and environmental costs of energy use for all economic groups. For more information: is external). Source: VEIC 11.20.2014last_img read more

Berkshire Bank parent reports 20 percent increase in Q4 core EPS, dividend increased

first_img(E/F) CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS – UNAUDITED – (F-1) $                     4,812 0.77 1.15 1,239 – 2014 3,685 21 11 Loan related income $             58,624 2014 Short-term investments 0.75 (Dollars in millions) 4,079,634 Residential mortgages 11.95 $          555 75,539 164% 771 $                     16.27 691,836 Securities available for sale, at fair value 3,484 6,656 760,048 28 BERKSHIRE HILLS BANCORP, INC. $      6,352 Dec. 31, 12,657 4,180,523 4,183,623 5,421 $        0.46 Total delinquent and non-accruing loans 62.96 0.16 271,147 426,108 681,368 Core return on assets Residential mortgages 0.77 (3) $          6,422,527 Commercial real estate – $      11,464 1,417,120 Loans/deposits 804,366 732,960 46,647 (Dollars in millions, except per share data) FDIC premiums and assessments Total interest expense     385 420 GROWTH 2014 85,742 24,912 (35,662) 1,846 % Earnings per share: 26,905 4,517,816 0.22% 621 0.34% 305,617 $          0.48 153% 0.42 60,847 $          35,662 $       16.27 264,742 NOW 4,654,679 Net interest margin, fully taxable equivalent BERKSHIRE HILLS BANCORP, INC. $              1.66 24,635 20,859 Other real estate owned (763) 1,190,182 11.5 28,776 (3,117) $                 157,494 Securities and other     5,166 51,908 (8,492) Total assets 684,776 6,328 11.96 (3) Quarterly data may not sum to year-to-date data due to rounding. Demand deposits 8,792 ASSET QUALITY RATIOS $          0.46 11.76 $       5,499 (27) Other 951,105 45,507 $                     6,171 Adj: Gain on sale of securities, net (1,114) (1,028) (4) % 17 0.51 (240) 0.18 – 132% Diluted 0.73 0.75 11,378 34 0.66 (G) $                     5,306 10.4 22,540 CONDITION RATIOS – 1,040,835 Net charge-offs (QTD annualized)/average loans  2,572 24,758 51,053 82,101 Total liabilities 4,230 $       1,274 1,420,382 Total stockholders’ equity Core return on assets Merger, restructuring and conversion expenses      255 Total non-performing assets/total assets % 59,590 % 1.39% Commercial and industrial loans 45 3,100 LOAN ANALYSIS Annualized growth % 3.98 2,460 1,200 813,417 Quarter ended December 31, 2014 16,218 Quarters Ended 101,530 1,405,454 4,534,695 Commercial and industrial loans 14,764 RECONCILIATION OF NON-GAAP FINANCIAL MEASURES – UNAUDITED – (F-9) % 53,434 At or for the Years Ended 14,909 Money market Loans 14 Commercial and industrial loans 804 – $      10,537 1,009 Core earnings per share, year-to-date, compared to prior year Sept. 30, $                         678 DEPOSIT ANALYSIS Securities held to maturity, at amortized cost Total stockholders’ equity 89,730 Loss on termination of hedges Tangible book value 0.29% 4.49 Total interest-bearing deposits 3,473 Auto and other BERKSHIRE HILLS BANCORP, INC. 4 PITTSFIELD, Mass., Jan. 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Berkshire Hills Bancorp, Inc Deposits: $     11,464 $         0.44 6.92 $            3,908 14,200 (5) Wealth management fees     Total loans Total earning assets $                   4,553 2013 Net income  – 12 % 2014 0.18 12,201 479,988 1,001,648 11,528 0.31 Adj:  Income taxes Allowance for loan losses/total loans       balance sheet. 681 $                      844 435,766 Total net revenues, year-to-date, compared to prior year 12 27.49 5,235 264,770 NOW 27.08 Earning assets 11.4 354 $          33,602 Basic $          27,741 1,407 2,949 $     60,847 2,549 0.77% 16,736 2,445 (F) 475 Residential mortgages (1,567) 44,921 Total stockholders’ equity 1,225,646 % $          10,537 0.46 699,598 1,429 3.63 Total deposits 1,456 25,173 % 1,002 1,152 Sept. 30, 2014Balance 5,439 Net income (loss) Commercial and industrial loans 496,344 $        (0.04) 4,655 BERKSHIRE HILLS BANCORP, INC. 2014 36 $     39,263 0.42 Sept. 30,  $                     1,455 – 13 December 31, December 31, 497 Net charge-offs (current quarter annualized)/average loans 13,791 3.26 779,775 0.76% September 30, 2,223 $          43,566 3.86 (54) Securities and other     1,205 % 13,901 $             56,841 4.13 12,192 Goodwill  $      (1,106) 20,965 2,225 1,205,794 Total net income (3,516) 19,185 Cash surrender value of bank-owned life insurance 0.15 1,763 Total residential mortgages 58,232 (2) Merger, restructuring and conversion expenses include branch acquisition related expenses and bank charter 5,700 1,170,952 3,100 (A/D) 10.5 4.20 2014 733,750 0.88 168,752 0.21% $       1,236 1,381 55,720 899 Total common shares outstanding, period-end (thousands)                $                    54,179 2014 445 Average diluted common shares outstanding (thousands) 21.79 $               6,502,031 June 30,  (3,750) Total liabilities 278,386 $     58,835 1,595 0.15 10,364 11.48 863,795 – $          27,782 (In thousands, except per share data) (238) Commercial real estate 1,205 11,095 – 25.88 18,698 4,305 PER SHARE DATA 54,843 $          110 3,493 (In thousands, except per share data) 3,392 Total core revenue 51,175 (3,660) FDIC premiums and assessments $              1.36 3,169 22.84         (D) (203) 14,848 47,770 $     10,002 (A/C) $                   33,744 Assets 481,790 3,702 Other real estate owned and foreclosures 2014 $              0.46 $                   4,563 962,576 3.23 Compensation and benefits 39,496 Adj: Out-of-period adjustment (6)  238 14,506 3,221,786 PROVISION AND ALLOWANCE FOR LOAN LOSSES 1,496,204 15.34 (612) (B) 3.79 Allowance for loan losses (33,323) 4,717 6,137 42,596 0.85 276 – 431 Other intangible assets Mortgage banking income Technology and communications 4,612,176 $          1,468,271 December 31, 24,715 62.46 4.22 24,833 – Less: Allowance for loan losses $                      1,384 Loans 0.28 24,861 $        6,352,158 Total non-interest income       70,825 6,780 353,612 Loss on termination of hedges 8,491 Charged-off loans Other Wealth management fees     693 Core return on tangible equity Professional services 39,687 0.56 $                   44,742 Core earnings per share, diluted  8 2.72 1,395 0.56 2,049 3,778 Average diluted shares outstanding (thousands) (8) 0.73 Dec. 31,  2014 17,104 19,859 50,282 407 Tangible assets are total assets less total intangible assets. Total core revenue 0.78 3.04 $           677,917 34,989 BERKSHIRE HILLS BANCORP, INC. 4,243 Diluted 5,655,221 6.89 $       1,239 $                  869,302 305,698 Dec. 31, 3,875 3,651 54,009 (2) Total average tangible equity results from the subtraction of average goodwill and other intangible assets from 1,578 Insurance commissions and fees     June 30, 2014 39 $     57,328 24,965 1,490,408 Core non-interest expense                                     (6,302) 0.80% (245) Dec. 31, Total average tangible stockholders’ equity                          June 30, 5,840,973 4,563 Total non-maturity deposits $          5,850,842 0.18 Core return on equity  84,459 Sept. 30, 2014Balance 3.00 7,369 $      45,706 21,705 $      42,309 54,646 BERKSHIRE HILLS BANCORP, INC. Dec. 31, Net interest spread 8,098 Non-accruing loans: 0.73 $         0.40 $     11,988 54,016 $        5,672,799 $     37,157 35,438 13,739 Interest expense Deposits Commercial real estate (328) (1.1) 6,655 1,394,558 1,152,651 2,260 $            5,295 12.0 Total deposits 41,676 Non-interest-bearing demand deposits 437 $     34,664 6,846 7,029 411,980 Net interest income 0.46       investments. The Company uses this non-GAAP measure to provide important information regarding its operational (4,758) Subordinated borrowings % $          555 (A/C) 1,763 10.47 % 1,248 463 (0.04) $      42,494 19,493 3,898 0.16 24,854 12,878 6,137 8,866 6,610 2,418 – % $                 220,939 10.9 % Adj: Loss on termination of hedges 1,455,746 0.98 1,426,722 10.0 $          23,754 (110) Marketing and promotion   Total fee income     Total non-interest income       13,876 675 Federal Home Loan Bank stock and other restricted securities $          6,264,795 14 1,047,658 520 402 420,290 $          33,744 6.94 Dec. 31, % 48,659 $          555 18.43 1,445,861 15,714 124 3.91 673,292 3,748,381 4,812 2014 450 1,239 Net earnings, diluted % 2014 $       15.84 859 Total interest-bearing deposits 71,134 55,556 2,411 Total deposits (1) 6.52 3,989 3,396 (3) 15 304,909 2,330       operational efficiency. 2014 10.84 4,181 $     11,369 3,637 226,984 2014 BERKSHIRE HILLS BANCORP, INC. $        186,115 2014 3,702 (5) Bank charter change related expenses and prior period variable compensation are shown above under restructuring 15,583 0.77% 733 4,817,263 7.54 411 (1,042) 0.30 690 6.64 $          33,323 Less: Total non-core expense (see above) 1,024 203,741 413,117 8 778,561 Total interest-bearing liabilities 1,029 769 899 Other real estate owned and foreclosures $          3,113,636 $                   1,496 $               6,502,031 4,644,938 Savings deposits Tangible book value per share, period-end 996 6,569 25,183 CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS – UNAUDITED – (F-4) 63.21 % 4,211 Non-interest expense 190 6,301 2,493 (1) The Company acquired 20 branches in Central New York on January 17, 2014. The income statement for the three 23.49 4,619 0.46% (C) 0.66% 4,802,265 0.37% 10.47 4,097 45,360 $          5,850,842 4.87 15,273 0.14 $              1.36 0.50% $                      869 Loans: 226,461 5,792,744 10.97 Home equity  0.52 Supplementary data (1,287) Sept. 30,  Amortization of intangible assets      Total core income  Total interest and dividend income     15 6.18 2014 Savings $     39,073 $          6,264,795 0.91 3.13 0.44% 101 % Premises and equipment, net $          0.42 Weighted average shares outstanding:       Basic 23.59 3.96 0.91 $          (3,025) 1.40 1,705 11.27       change related expenses. 7,998 $          34,353 4,854 (1) See notes on Page F-3 17 Time deposits 3,134 Tangible stockholders’ equity to tangible assets Sept. 30, Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity 316 1,762 3,989 165,986 (190) (34,966) Residential mortgages 2013       on a fully taxable equivalent basis and total core non-interest income adjusted to include tax credit benefit of tax          efficiency. 2013 24,857 $            4,810 3.17 Quarter ended December 31, 2014 58,247 Interest and dividend income     Deposit related fees Net income (loss) 24,912 463,615 17,287 $     47,189 6,814 % 4,821 Deposits $            80 6.59 Non-interest income 3,660 $          1,379,625 $          996 899,458 Total non-accruing loans 0.51 0.59 Provision for loan losses    $             409,631 $      43,566 6.95 3.26 1,091,818 3,214 32,575 $     39,687 Total non-performing assets 2,758 Money market 1,488,462 Consumer loans Liabilities and stockholders’ equity 691 0.46% Adj: Merger and acquisition expenses Tangible book value per common share, period-end 0.60% Diluted  768,463 0.37% 0.44% 28.17 $          (3,117) (701) (34) 11 431,496 1,274 3,392 6.46 5,574,918 3,169 Dividends Non-interest expense Adj: Merger and acquisition expenses (34) 2,416 Total non-interest expense      2 Total borrowings 278 852 PERFORMANCE RATIOS 1.51 25,115 4,184,022 21.78 (A) 44,329 3,903,154 Total loans (1) 6.59 % 3,396 $          28,503 $          570 $           844,480 765 Mar. 31, 1,595,400 23.22 Allowance for loan losses/total loans Core non-interest expense                                     3.76 At or for the Quarters Ended 2,143 $     10,537 Allowance for loan losses/non-accruing loans 14,840 18,340 $     10,412 26.66 Mar. 31, Cost of funds $            7,867 1,392,570 $             (394) Demand 12,583 54,016 3,508,889 (1,810) Berkshire Bank,Berkshire Hills Bancorp, Inc (NYSE: BHLB), the parent company of Berkshire Bank reported a 20 percent increase in fourth quarter core earnings per share to $0.48 in 2014 compared to $0.40 in 2013. Earnings growth was driven by a 17 percent increase in core revenue as the company expanded operations in its footprint. Fourth quarter GAAP EPS increased by 10 percent to $0.46 as earnings in both years were impacted by non-core charges related primarily to growth and restructuring. Berkshire Bank has branches in southwestern Vermont.For the year, core earnings per share totaled $1.80 in 2014. Core earnings decreased by 4 percent from $1.87 per share in 2013 as volume growth was offset by lower margins in the first half of the year. GAAP EPS totaled$1.36 in 2014 and $1.65 in 2013.FOURTH QUARTER FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS (comparisons are to prior quarter unless otherwise stated):4% increase in core earnings per share8% annualized increase in net revenue17% year over year increase in fee income, with growth in all major categories11% annualized increase in total loans8% annualized increase in deposits12% annualized increase in demand deposits0.37% non-performing assets/assets0.29% net loan charge-offs/average loansCEO Michael Daly stated, “We finished the year on pace, with growth of 2 cents per share in core earnings in each of the last four quarters.  We delivered on the market share opportunities of our expanded footprint.  Momentum continued in the fourth quarter, with strong growth in revenue, loans, and deposits compared to the linked quarter.”Mr. Daly continued, “We are well-positioned for further expansion in our footprint.  During the fourth quarter, Hampden Bancorp entered a merger agreement with us, which will deepen our presence in the Springfieldmarket and the Hartford/Springfield economic area.  This merger is targeted for completion in the second quarter of 2015.  Our Westborough branch opened in October, completing the build out of this regional office serving the Worcester area and our Central Massachusetts market.  Our teams are building business volumes in Eastern Massachusetts and in New York, where earlier in the year we acquired 20 branches serving our Central and Eastern New York markets.”Mr. Daly concluded, “Our core return on assets improved during the year as we leveraged our franchise investment.  In the fourth quarter, our active balance sheet management produced an increase in our net interest margin, while our close focus on expense control improved our efficiency ratio.  We are targeting to extend these gains as we integrate our in-market merger with Hampden in 2015, and our teams across our franchise are delivering the right solutions for our markets and our investors.  In recognition of our progress and prospects, I’m pleased to also be announcing a 6% increase in our quarterly dividend to shareholders.”DIVIDEND INCREASEDThe Board of Directors voted to declare a cash dividend of $0.19 per share to shareholders of record at the close of business on February 12, 2015, payable on February 26, 2015.  This is a penny increase from $0.18and the new dividend equates to a 3.0% annualized yield based on the $25.05 average closing price ofBerkshire’s common stock during the fourth quarter. ANNUAL MEETING DATE SETThe Board of Directors voted that the Annual Meeting of Shareholders shall be held on May 7, 2015 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, One West Street, Pittsfield, Massachusetts at 10:00 a.m. The date of March 12, 2015 was established as the record date for the determination of the shareholders entitled to notice of, and to vote at, the Annual Meeting.FINANCIAL CONDITIONFourth quarter results demonstrated strong loan growth funded by solid deposit growth and supported by capital generation that also strengthened the capital foundation.  Loan growth was 11% annualized in the fourth quarter and 12% for the year 2014.  Organic deposit growth was 8% annualized in the fourth quarter.  Including the deposits from acquired branches, total deposits increased by 21% for the year.  As a result, the ratio of loans/deposits decreased during the year, measuring 101% at year-end.  The ratio of tangible equity to assets measured 7.0% at year-end, with total equity/assets measuring 10.9%.  Most capital ratios are targeted to increase with the acquisition of Hampden Bancorp.  Tangible book value per share increased by 6% to $17.19in 2014 while total book value per share increased by 4% to $28.17.  Berkshire continues to manage its balance sheet with the objective of benefiting from expected future interest rate increases. Berkshire’s 11% annualized fourth quarter loan growth resulted primarily from 15% annualized commercial loan growth, which matched the full year growth rate.  Commercial growth was concentrated in diversified commercial and industrial loans in the fourth quarter, while for the full year commercial balances increased primarily due to higher commercial real estate loans.  Residential mortgage balances advanced at a 14% annualized rate in the fourth quarter, including the benefit of stronger demand in the second half of the year.  Residential mortgage growth was 8% for the year.  Consumer loans grew by 11% for the year and declined by 5% annualized in the fourth quarter due to a planned de-emphasis of the auto loan portfolio.Asset quality metrics remained favorable.  Annualized net loan charge-offs measured 0.29% of average loans for the quarter.   Quarter-end non-performing assets decreased to 0.37% of total assets and accruing delinquent loans measured 0.52% of total loans.  The loan loss allowance was 0.76% of total loans; approximately 16% of quarter-end loans were balances recorded at fair value in recent bank acquisitions.Annualized fourth quarter deposit growth of 8% included increases in all major categories.  Growth was primarily in relationship oriented transaction accounts, with a concentration in new commercial balances.  Full year deposit growth of 21% included 11% related to balances totaling $440 million in acquired New York branches.RESULTS OF OPERATIONSThe fourth quarter core return on tangible equity increased to 12.0% in 2014 compared to 10.5% in 2013.  Net non-core charges in both periods were primarily related to acquisition and restructuring activity.  GAAP return on equity improved to 6.5% from 6.2% in the above respective periods and the efficiency ratio improved to 62.5% from 63.2%.The 20% year over year increase in fourth quarter core earnings per share reflected the benefit of 17% growth in core revenue, with an identical percentage increase in both net interest income and fee income.   This resulted primarily from volume growth in Berkshire’s footprint, particularly in newer markets in Eastern Massachusetts and Central New York.  Fee income grew in all major categories, including a 30% increase in deposit related fees primarily from the New York branch acquisition. Compared to the linked quarter, growth in core earnings per share was primarily driven by 4% growth in net interest income.  This included the benefit of volume growth, together with an expansion of the net interest margin to 3.23% compared to 3.20% in the linked quarter; the margin was 3.26% in the fourth quarter of 2013.  Net interest income includes purchased loan accretion which is largely comprised of recoveries on the resolution of impaired loans acquired in previous bank acquisitions.  This accretion totaled $1.7 million in the most recent quarter, compared to $1.2 million in the linked quarter and $2.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2013.  Fourth quarter non-interest income was down 3% from the linked quarter, with seasonally lower fee income mostly offset by distributions from equity investments. The loan loss provision totaled $3.9 million in the fourth quarter.  Net loan charge-offs were $3.2 million, and the loan loss allowance increased by $0.7 million to $35.7 million.Fourth quarter core non-interest expense increased by 1% over the prior quarter to $39.9 million.  Non-core expense increased due to the pending Hampden merger.  Full time equivalent staff totaled 1,091 at year-end.  The core tax rate was 29% and the GAAP tax rate of 25% was due to the full year impact of the first quarter branch acquisition charges.CONFERENCE CALLBerkshire will conduct a conference call/webcast at 10:00 a.m. eastern time on Tuesday, January 27, 2015 to discuss the results for the quarter and provide guidance about expected future results. Participants should dial-in to the call 10-15 minutes before it begins. Information about the conference call follows:Dial-in:  888-317-6003Elite Entry Number:  1730849Webcast: (investor relations link)(link is external)A telephone replay of the call will be available through Wednesday, February 4, 2015 by calling 877-344-7529 and entering conference number: 10058299 The webcast will be available at Berkshire’s website above for an extended period of time.  A print-friendly version of this news release will be available at the web link shown above.BACKGROUNDBerkshire Hills Bancorp is the parent of Berkshire Bank – America’s Most Exciting Bank®(link is external).  The Company has$6.5 billion in assets and 91 full-service branch offices in Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, and Vermontproviding personal and business banking, insurance, and wealth management services.  Berkshire has a pending agreement to acquire Hampden Bancorp, the parent of Hampden Bank, which has $706 million in assets and operates ten offices in the Springfield, Massachusetts area.BERKSHIRE HILLS BANCORP, INC. $          (1,055) 3.99 $     12,046 Amortization of intangible assets      0.16 $          6,145,811 277,775 $        0.42 $          33,323 718 (4) Core return on tangible equity is computed by dividing the total core income adjusted for the tax-affected amortization of  Adj: Out-of-period adjustment (6)  1,083 (1) The Company acquired 20 branches in Central New York on January 17, 2014, including $440 million in deposits, 89,679 Auto and other consumer $     10,915 Mar. 31,  524 $     60,847 99 89,747 $                      4,181 BERKSHIRE HILLS BANCORP, INC. 700 Loans held for sale, at fair value (Dollars in thousands) $                       1.80 0.44 0.28% 5,093 1,558 (12) 100 0.29% 5,765 (1) Average balances for securities available-for-sale are based on amortized cost.  Total loans include non-accruing loans. 52 $          45,706 Dec. 31,  0.75 Annualized growth % 5 (4,758) 14,130 0.51% Total loans 3,800 0.12% June 30,  Net interest margin 0.22% Dec.  31,  Less: Total non-core expense (see above) (51) 2014 45 0.73% 13,036 659 4,622 Goodwill and other intangible assets 76,258 $                 157,359 2014 8,683 0.94% 43,347 1.19% 6,449 $          5,498,753 0.64 18.99 25,364 Sept. 30, 1,407,179 27,455 6.02 2014 60.79 – 12,524 $             415,806 8,310 Core earnings, diluted Total revenue  Total consumer loans (3,025) Balance at end of period $        0.40 22,887 2,212 0.48 Dec. 31, 2014Balance 17,575 364 319 5,159,339 16.67 50,711 $      6,502 (482) $        6,352,158 $        (0.04) 26.99 4,147,200 6.32 – 1,425,865 3.97 SELECTED FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS – UNAUDITED – (F-6) $                       1.87 1,578 3.10 11.96 $      6,010 34 $          11,398 0.18 Merger, restructuring and conversion expenses      2,368 7,107 Non-interest income Total earning assets Diluted Insurance commissions and fees     Deferred tax asset, net (1,762) 3.35 $          1,379,266 6.81 2014 $              1.65 13,000 1,381 Assets 200 $         0.42 (6) The out of period adjustments shown above relate to interest income earned on loans acquired in bank acquisitions.  0.60 0.50% 6.32 271 4,478 (3,202) $        5,672,799 Year to date 11.34 – 157,359 8,247 18.54 0.30% % 38,503 (0.64) 1,384,274 4,622 Dec. 31, 3.26 13,000 60,847 Fee income/Net interest and fee income 46,647 4,717 3.20 % (3,238) 763,296 62.46 62.89 0.59% 12 63.21 % (482) Borrowings 4,680,600       total average stockholders’ equity.  994 19 771 9 0.54 AVERAGE BALANCES – UNAUDITED – (F-7) Total loans (E) 2,847 87,166 Acquired Balance (1) 6 (458) 4.01 0.71 14,745 GAAP return on equity  (A/D) 256,871 $      11,988 Other 307 12.0 974,428 (6) Earnings per share, year-to-date, compared to prior year 0.66% Core earnings per common share, diluted  (15,348) June 30, 11 Core return on tangible equity (4) Core return on equity $                   1,446 $                   4,681 $      6,311 $        0.48 87,279 9,546 5,923 64.42 10.94 ASSET QUALITY ANALYSIS – UNAUDITED – (F-5) $                   41,143 11,763 4,854 $          33,248 24,965 0.60% 5 857,848 36 39,263 Funding liabilities 678 33 $            6,071 Total tangible stockholders’ equity, period-end (7) 277 $      5,673 280 20,279 412 27.69 Adj: Loss on termination of hedges 6.89 $          34,966 3,849 Year to date 2013 Total deposits 690 $      (1,106) Commercial real estate 48,659 2014 $             (564) Total net revenue Total, net 0.61 678 11.4 178,691 % Dec. 31, 2014Balance 3,875 0.31 See note on tangible equity on pages F-9 & F-10. Fully taxable equivalent income adjustment % 49,795 Net income  Dec.  31,  34 521 2014 2,561 23.87 (Dollars in thousands) (2,493) Adj: Out-of-period adjustment (6)  Adj: Loss on termination of hedges $                     5,268 0.30% 2014 Stockholders’ equity to total assets 2,212 39,842 15 90 Residential mortgages % 0.45% 3.23 0.32% (8,792) 3.35 Consumer loans 6.91 Other real estate owned 1,383,856 (A/G) – 288 3.73 Adj: Restructuring and conversion expenses (5) 19.05 Mar. 31,  CONSOLIDATED LOAN & DEPOSIT ANALYSIS – UNAUDITED – (F-2) 101 Home equity  24,747 (3,462) 681,490 1,611,567 Interest expense % 12 All performance ratios are annualized and are based on average balance sheet amounts, where applicable. Quarters Ended Total tangible stockholders’ equity, period-end (7)   % $                     17.19 Total loans, year-to-date (annualized) Other assets 1.65       months ended March 31, 2014 includes operations of the branch acquisition beginning on that date. 691,004 $          34,966 RECONCILIATION OF NON-GAAP FINANCIAL MEASURES – UNAUDITED – (F-10) 3,095 2014 504 103,749 Adj: Loss on termination of hedges (3,360) Time (7) Total tangible stockholders’ equity is computed by taking total stockholders’ equity less the intangible assets at period-end.  Cash and due from banks $          1,412,720 12 8,817 24,854 61,090 1,611,343 2013 4,762 4,994,737 1,381,628 2,328 $         0.48 716,787 0.18 3,898 4,552,782 DELINQUENT AND NON-ACCRUING LOANS/TOTAL LOANS Adj: Income taxes $          (3,202) 729,654 Professional services 687,540 15,299 % 4,472,061 4,301,539 (7) 4,622,320 % (D) 1,169,765 Total assets       quarter of 2014, due to the GAAP net loss compared to core net income for the period. $          33,602 $                 226,984 Total securities Total average stockholders’ equity                          56,805 12,944 62.96 Tax credit benefit of tax shelter investments Weighted average shares outstanding:       $          2,858,304 245 5,260,311 $                 165,986 (C) 276,645 (1,341) Provision for loan losses 692 Total net revenue 64.42 203 0.85 311,176 At or for the Quarters Ended 420 0.42% $          6,422,527 1,113,431 $          5,498,753 Occupancy and equipment            of intangible assets, assuming a 40% marginal rate, by tangible equity. Liabilities and stockholders’ equity Borrowings Net loans 1,069,987 Income tax expense (benefit)  $             425,824 0.71 11,095 Money market (18) 71,754 1,236 5,093 $              0.46 $                   4,655 8 0.73 2,143 $          0.43 3.20 Time (A/B) $       6,423 26,058 Total average stockholders’ equity                          0.53%       and $4 million in loans. 0.10% 3,710,206 24,802 3,199 CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME – UNAUDITED – (F-3) 11.76 $          (3,072) 980,135 Three Months Ended 0.43 0.71 $          0.46 Total interest and dividend income     2013 6.95 $                      3,849 2014 Basic 0.42 824,489 0.59% – $       17.19 Other liabilities  $     59,590 19 52,712 June 30, 1,053,884 Loans: 5,109 $             (602) 5,454,807 3.97 Borrowings $          0.48 4,595,948 689,877 NET LOAN CHARGE-OFFS 1,083 699,662 37,157 1,448,624 433 Total core income  28,351 $          6,145,811 (193) 15,299 2,632 $          3,127,781 $          3,136,013 (3,317) 4.73 423,017 0.37 Dec. 31, 2013Balance Savings 709,287 523 415 1,227 Total book value 2013 BERKSHIRE HILLS BANCORP, INC. 39,842 2014 15.84 Mortgage banking income 24,698 $              0.42 410,343 639 – 12.37 (3) The average balances of deposits include the deposits held for sale presented under other liabilities on the consolidated % Total intangible assets AVERAGE YIELDS  (Fully Taxable Equivalent – Annualized) – UNAUDITED – (F-8) 830 Total earning assets $     55,556 17,626 2,230 1,579,258 24,698 Return on assets 2014 (245) $          440 7,350 – Total revenue  16.27 Total average assets                                                 691,503 25,105 Recoveries on charged-off loans Deposit related fees 24,730 $                 236,152 % 4,758 Total non-interest expense       and conversion expenses. – (3,392) Provision for loan losses    4,450 3,846 255 0.31% Commercial and industrial loans 1,406,914 (22) Money market deposits 3.35 350 24,912 3.56 Cost of deposits 3.12 3.96 (F) Consumer loans 1.14% 3.88 0.44 Mar. 31, (431) 779 14,641 0.71 458 1.37 Total commercial loans 0.30% 0.46% $     39,914 Total non-interest expense      0.73 December 31, $     45,360 – Dec. 31, 29,091 Deposits: 4,305 Total loans 482 0.15 (15) 4.26 1,417 At or for the Quarters Ended 0.37 0.36 696,937 474,774 Savings 6.02 $     41,676 870,091 0.52% 5,421 Total non-maturity deposits 16.40 Investments to total assets – (In thousands) 312,145 24,701 Mar. 31, 0.52 – % 4,423 Consumer loans 4,219 0.90 887 $        174,467 $             417,802 3 50,525 2,373 – 24,857 0.86 8,310 1,200 1.04 Total cash and short-term investments 14,200 $          (3,238) $     39,058 Compensation and benefits Efficiency ratio (1) (1,287) $          0.46 5.87 Marketing and promotion      24,809 Years Ended 3.26 58,835 7,369 Short-term investments and loans held for sale $              0.43 Total common shares outstanding, period-end (thousands)                2,049 (1) Efficiency ratio is computed by dividing total core tangible non-interest expense by the sum of total net interest income 0.53 (1) Cost of funds includes all deposits and borrowings. – Loan related income 25,036 Basic  56,261 1,052,323 81,768 3,848,529 1,558 4,073,134 5,268 Net charge-offs (YTD annualized)/average loans  Income tax expense 2014 % Adj: Restructuring and conversion expenses (5) Reconciliation of Non-GAAP financial measures, including all references to core and tangible amounts, appear on pages F-9 & F-10. 4,681 (536) (G) 8,792 Gain on sale of securities, net      6 16,736 (203) 207,042 4,357 $          3,186,311 (2) The average cost of deposits includes the deposits held for sale.  Non-accruing loans – 28,631 25,036 0.29 8,792 $                     2,234 0.80 (10) 9,166 62.89 54 238 138 2,665 (2) Ratios are annualized and based on average balance sheet amounts, where applicable. 687,293 (3) Quarterly data may not sum to year-to-date data due to rounding. 4,288,664 3,100 33 (7) Total tangible stockholders’ equity is computed by taking total stockholders’ equity less the intangible assets at (2) 14 Total non-accruing loans/total loans 678,062 Sept. 30, 413 Total commercial loans, year-to-date (annualized) (A) 1,381       and conversion expenses. 4,479 (1) 8,817 (17) Earnings (loss) per share: 28,426 3.34 4,721 % Adj: Gain on sale of securities, net 1,306 445 2,308 3.26 Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity Net loans charged-off Tax credit benefit of tax shelter investments 1,561 30-89 Days delinquent Other 17.19 $          41,143 2,596 0.73 – 232 (0.08) 0.17 10.84 Total non-interest expense 8 Total fee income     $     52,164 (687) 4,284 4,921,989 0.71 80 0.31% 0.55% 0.55 0.98% – 0.51 2013 5,555,611 Occupancy and equipment      $     39,449 1,612 8,792 2,646 % Total average assets                                                 (B) (461) $       6,265 Total interest-bearing liabilities $       5,851 932 Net interest margin 60,088 Senior borrowings 44,949 % 104,588 691 Total average tangible stockholders’ equity                          15,840 423 412 3.91       as shown above, and $4 million in loans. 410 2.98 NOW deposits 4.18 Dec. 31, 2013Balance (8) Average diluted shares computed for core earnings per share differ from GAAP average diluted shares, in the first 398 407 20,965 4,877 Intangible amortization 412,102 17,378 (Dollars in millions, except per share data) $       6,146 0.29% Core return on tangible equity (4) 15 $          0.46 24,809 2014 24,857 2,294 $       1,306 (5) Bank charter change related expenses and prior period variable compensation are shown above under restructuring Total core income (In thousands) 3,359 692 14,968 (E/F) Dec. 31,  $       16.67 4,690,341 3.70 Income (loss) before income taxes Supplementary data 433 $         0.46 % 3,651 (1,470) 3.49 (0) 5,109 % 37,157 232 42,766 Core return on assets 3 Other assets 4,553 1.25 5.87 Securities Total average tangible equity  6,655 1,762 11.34 0.59% (Dollars in millions) Gain on sale of securities, net     2,105 2,758 3.11 4,762 4.12 (215) 4.26 132% 24,701 4,563,333 Technology and communications 372 2,260 (A/G) 279,024 – Securities Dec. 31,  0.46 1,708 Total time deposits Balance at beginning of period (2) Ratios are annualized and based on average balance sheet amounts, where applicable. 1,064,107 1,429,231 (3,072) Adj: Gain on sale of securities, net 15,273 (1,105) Supplementary data (284) 279 3,898 NOW 3,433,641 697       on a fully taxable equivalent basis and total core non-interest income adjusted to include tax credit benefit of tax shelter Total assets 1,227 15,714 5,408 0.14 480,036 996 Short-term investments and loans held for sale – (1) The Company acquired 20 branches in Central New York on January 17, 2014, including $440 million in deposits (8,792) 109 Dec. 31, 90+ Days delinquent and still accruing % $      43,958 Return on equity Trading security Adj: Out-of-period adjustment (6)  5,085 4 3.89 (7,185) Commercial real estate 20,665 10.91 749,982 $                   46,696 41,676 $                 226,461 1,384 Adj: Gain on sale of securities and other non-recurring gain, net GAAP return on assets 1,471 3,049 0.77 Core return on equity 0.76 1,381 $             (181) 2013 5,166 (A/B) $     59,345 4,333,099 2,356 Quarters Ended Income before income taxes        $     11,398 $     58,632 1,163 $                 142,011 0.79% 20 0.77 3.82 Efficiency ratio (1) Efficiency ratio  Other liabilities  3.23 504 Commercial and industrial loans Market price at period end 55,556 FINANCIAL DATA (In millions) NON-PERFORMING ASSETS (E) Interest and dividend income     Total interest expense     703,798 $       16.40 25,183 688 % (216) 0.79 782,584 (Dollars in thousands) 7,301 5,397 $        0.44       intangible assets, assuming a 40% marginal rate, by tangible equity. 5,722,865 121% 765 (540) 2,223 47,189 1,044,850 (3,392) % 1.92 52,056 3,685 4,119 $             348,600 5,681,322 10,020 24,758 35 63.17 Total accruing delinquent loans 403 $          30,213 Net interest income 2,493 15 % (4,923) $          34,353 6.09 27.27 709 $          1,330,674 24,861 700 1.69 Intangible amortization 1,058,965 426 (1) Efficiency ratio is computed by dividing total core tangible non-interest expense by the sum of total net interest income 13       shelter investments. The Company uses this non-GAAP measure to provide important information regarding its $      11,398 Commercial real estate 2,373 (4) Core return on tangible equity is computed by dividing the total core income adjusted for the tax-affected amortization 0.29% 801 Borrowings (6) The out of period adjustments shown above relate to interest income earned on loans acquired in bank acquisitions.  0.18       period-end. 2013last_img read more

groSolar farm goes online in Flambeau, WI

first_imgEDF Renewables,Vermont Business Magazine White River Jct-based groSolar(link is external), CMS Energy(link is external), Dairyland Power Cooperative(link is external), and Price Electric Cooperative(link is external), have begun commercial operation of the 3.4-megawatt (MW DC) Flambeau Solar project(link is external) in Flambeau, Wisconsin. The Flambeau Solar Project features single-axis trackers that track the sun from east to west throughout the day, greatly increasing the efficiency of the project. Throughout the design and construction of the project, groSolar utilized numerous local contractors and small businesses to assist in the development of the project.The Flambeau Solar Project will produce approximately 5,000-megawatt hours (MWh) of clean, renewable energy in its first year of operation; enough electricity to power more than 600 homes. The project also provides significant environmental benefits including a carbon offset approximately equivalent to planting more than 90,000 trees or taking more than 700 cars off the road each year1.A project dedication, hosted by groSolar, is scheduled for August 3rd and will welcome partners from CMS Energy, Dairyland Power Cooperative, Price Electric Cooperative, and local stakeholders. “CMS Energy is pleased to support the development of new solar energy in the Midwest,” said Richard Mukhtar, Executive Manager – CMS Enterprises for CMS Energy, which owns the Flambeau Solar project. “We look forward to seeing this solar power plant create energy that will power homes reliably and sustainably.”“The Flambeau project is an excellent example of a public-private partnership that is delivering clean, renewable, low cost energy to Price Electric and the Dairyland Power Cooperative system,” said Myles Burnsed, groSolar Vice President of Business Development, who led the origination and development of this project. In addition to providing valuable clean, renewable energy to residents of Price County, the project has also helped the community’s younger residents learn about solar energy; earlier this summer, students from the Phillips Middle School visited the project and learned about the importance of renewable energy from groSolar’s CEO Jamie Resor.1 According to US EPA Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies calculations.About CMS EnergyCMS Energy is a Michigan-based company that owns and operates independent power generation businesses through CMS Enterprises and has an electric and natural gas utility, Consumers Energy.About Dairyland Power CooperativeHeadquartered in La Crosse, Wis., Dairyland provides the wholesale electrical requirements for 24 distribution cooperatives and 17 municipal utilities. These cooperatives and municipals, in turn, supply the energy needs of more than a half-million people in the four-state service area. Today, the cooperative’s generating resources include coal, natural gas, hydro, wind, solar and biogas. is external).About Price Electric CooperativePrice Electric Cooperative is an electric power distribution cooperative headquartered in Phillips, Wis. Price Electric is proud to supply electric services to 9,118 member-owners at rural properties in its nine-county service area. PEC serves all rural areas of Price County, as well as portions of Ashland, Iron, Lincoln, Oneida, Rusk, Sawyer, Taylor and Vilas Counties. is external)About groSolargroSolar is a leading developer and turnkey solar engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) firm serving the 500kw to 30 MW market. With over 2,200 installations across North America, groSolar’s experience spans a broad spectrum of applications. These include applications atop brownfields/landfills, commercial, educational, municipal, and other institutional facilities. groSolar provides a one stop source for all your solar project needs including on-going operations and maintenance. groSolar is a wholly-owned subsidiary of EDF Renewable Energy.Source: WHITE RIVER JCT., Vt, & COLUMBIA, Md.–(BUSINESS WIRE(link is external))–​ is external). 8.1.2017VBM vermontbiz.comlast_img read more

Vermont recognizes national weights and measures week

first_imgTesting 1,000 lb. weights in the Weights & Measures Metrology Laboratory.Vermont Business Magazine Today marks the beginning of National Weights and Measures Week, a time to recognize the important role of weights and measures regulatory programs across the country. The date of this year’s Weights and Measures Week is significant as it marks the signing of the first Weights and Measures law by John Adams on March 2, 1799. Throughout the country, thousands of weights and measures inspectors work diligently to enforce laws designed to not only protect consumers but to also develop a level playing field in commerce wherever a weight or measure is involved.Vermont’s Weights and Measures program is located in the Vermont Agency of Agriculture Food and Market’s Consumer Protection Section. Many consumers are surprised to learn that weights and measures programs are part of many agencies of agriculture nationwide.  This is true of Vermont, where much of the state’s early economy was based on agricultural products produced on tens of thousands of farms.  Historically, commodities produced in Vermont like milk, meat, grains, feed, corn, and maple were sold by weight or measure, therefore the inspection program was placed in the Agency of Agriculture.Vermont’s program consists of a Weights & Measures Metrology lab managed by a Metrologist and a corresponding field inspection component. The Metrologist manages the program’s laboratory.  The metrology lab maintains the state’s weights and measures standards, conducts calibrations on weighing and measuring artifacts, and advises both the program staff and private industry regarding weights and measures laws, regulations, and best practices.  Each year the laboratory tests thousands of hydrometers utilized by the maple industry, weights ranging in size from 1,000 lbs. to 0.001 lb. and numerous test measures used in the inspection and calibration of thousands of fuel pumps.Mike Larose testing a vehicle scale using the heavy duty scale test truck and weights.  The inspections conducted by field staff provide equity in the marketplace and consumer protection by testing and inspecting commercial devices used in commerce.   Each year the Vermont program inspects over 6,000 gas pumps, 425 fuel oil truck meters, 225 propane truck meters, thousands of scales and packages.  Inspectors conduct hundreds of price verification inspections, testing the accuracy of laser scanning systems in retail outlets.  This work promotes consumer protection by ensuring that these devices are accurate and correct and by also monitoring pricing integrity and weighing and measuring practices where commercial transactions occur.    A top priority of the section is responding to consumer concerns, the most common being: short measure on gas pumps, oil truck meters, beer, and firewood, as well as issues regarding retail pricing accuracy and fuel quality.  The National Conference on Weights and Measures (NCWM) has announced that this year’s theme is  Back to the Basics as we Arrive in the Cloud.  The theme expresses the dynamic challenges faced by regulatory jurisdictions across the country.   Gasoline stations and supermarkets employ state of the art weighing and measuring equipment. Inspectors need to understand software in the documentation, inspection, and investigation process. Technology is changing so rapidly that inspection staff are often playing catch up to significant changes in how commerce takes place.  Discounts can now be taken at gas stations using I-Phones, transportation systems such as UBER now employ GPS based measurement systems that charge consumers not based on a traditional physical taxi meter but from sources not physically connected to the vehicle. Theft at the gas pump is now taking place by the use of skimmers that are illegally installed in the pump and steal consumers credit and debit card information.                  Weights and Measures jurisdictions often face many unique challenges. In the future, one issue that could potentially affect the state of Vermont Weights and Measures program is that of the sale of recreational Cannabis. Due to the high unit price of cannabis special requirements would need to take place.  Issues of appropriate higher-class scales, higher level of test weights, package and labeling, method of sale, and moisture loss are all issues that other states have had to define in implementing a cannabis inspection program.     Weights and Measures Week serves as a reminder of the great value consumers receive from weights and measures inspection programs.   The Consumer Protection Section works to both regulate and educate the businesses they inspect.  When violations are found, appropriate enforcement action is taken.  Repeated violations may result in penalties being issued. A list of findings can now be found on the Vermont Agency of Agriculture website at: is external)  Equipment used for checking packages for accurate weight in grocery stores.                                 Source: Vermont Agency of Agriculture 3.1.2018last_img read more

Leonine: More than just guns in Montpelier

first_imgAPPLICANT SALARY HISTORYOn Tuesday the Senate gave its approval to H.294, which would prohibit employers from asking applicants about their salary history. Proponents argue that the bill is one strategy to address the discrepancy between salaries paid to women vs. men. Governor Scott has said that he strongly supports the legislation.  INDIVIDUAL MANDATEThe Senate significantly watered down H.696 which, as passed by the House, imposed a mandate that every Vermonter have health coverage for themselves and their dependents, but did not impose a penalty. In passing this bill the House was reacting to the elimination of the individual mandate at the federal level. However, the Senate eliminated the House’s individual mandate provision due to the lack of a penalty, leaving only a provision calling for a study. The ball is now back in the House’s court – it has to decide whether to accept the Senate’s action or to seek a conference committee and see if the Senate can be convinced to accept an individual mandate.   NET NEUTRALITYOn Thursday afternoon the House voted to approve S.289, the net neutrality bill. While the Senate-passed version included a requirement that companies providing broadband service to state government be net neutral, the House eliminated this requirement and instead directs the Attorney General’s Office to review the federally required disclosures broadband providers make concerning how they operate their networks and then indicate on its website whether those providers comply with the principles of net neutrality. In addition, the House version of the bill calls for a study of net neutrality. The bill was approved by a voice vote with virtually no debate. It now heads back to the Senate, for their consideration of the House’s work.  DMV MISCELLANEOUS BILL This week the House Transportation and House Ways and Means Committees advanced S.272, the DMV Miscellaneous Bill. The bill makes changes to Vermont’s motor vehicle safety inspection program and the treatment of recreational vehicle warranties under Vermont’s lemon law, among other things. The bill will be up for action on the House floor early next week. The text of the bill can be found on the House Calendar for Tuesday, 4/24(link is external), starting on page 1683. S.103 – CHEMICAL REGULATIONGovernor Scott issued his first veto of 2018 this week when he returned S.103 to the Senate without his signature. The bill would create an interagency committee to oversee the use, storage and transport of chemicals as well as grant sweeping powers to the Department of Health to regulate and ban chemicals in children’s products. Scott objected to the bill because the interagency committee already exists via a 2017 executive order and because the expansion of DOH powers would remove the consideration of important scientific criteria from the regulatory process. Scott said in his veto letter that the bill would create additional uncertainty for business without increasing safeguards for children. The Senate took action last Thursday and was successful in overriding the governor’s veto. Democrats have a supermajority in the Senate and the override vote was 22-8. The House could consider the veto as early as next week. Early indications are that House Republicans will support the governor, which would mean they would sustain the veto by blocking the two-thirds majority needed to override. center_img Weekly OverviewLeonine Public Affairs(link is external) House and Senate committees scrambled to finalize work on policy bills this week as the Senate Appropriations, Transportation and Institutions committees moved closer to wrapping up the state spending bills. With the gun safety debate in the rearview mirror many expected the level of intensity to diminish in the statehouse. This was not the case when Governor Phil Scott vetoed S.103, a chemical regulation bill, setting up the first override standoff of 2018. The Senate moved quickly and was able to override the veto with a Democratic super-majority. This sets up a vote in the House, where they do not appear to have the votes to override Governor Scott’s veto. The vote in the House is scheduled for this Wednesday.The veto of S.103 will likely be followed by additional vetoes of legislation that the Republican governor and Democratic leaders have been fighting about all session. These bills include raising the minimum wage, paid family leave, the regulation of data brokers, efficiency standards, bills relating to regulation of manufacturing, the education finance proposal that adds the income tax as a funding source, increasing the Universal Service Fund fee, a bill to study taxing carbon, fees on short-term rentals, net neutrality, a forced arbitration bill and a number of other contentious pieces of legislation.This week marks the beginning of the standoff that many have been expecting and which will frame the end of the 2018 session. A key question will be whether the legislature can pass a budget bill that the governor supports. The legislature tends to adjourn on the early side during election years, so politicians can begin campaigning. This will be challenging if there are multiple veto standoffs. To make things even more interesting, rumors began swirling this week that an unnamed Democrat may be entering the gubernatorial race soon.Stay tuned. DEBT COLLECTIONThe House gave final approval to H.482, which changes the court process for collecting credit card debt and makes the ability to collect such debt more difficult. The passage of H.482 by the House is well beyond the crossover deadline for House bills to be considered by the Senate. As a result, the bill has been referred to the Senate Rules Committee and can only be considered by the Senate if that committee agrees to release it. TRANSPORTATION BILL The Senate Transportation Committee advanced H.917, the Transportation Bill, this week. The bill adopts the Transportation Agency’s FY2019 budget, plus has miscellaneous transportation provisions including provisions related to electric vehicle charging stations and abandoned vessels. The bill was referred to the Senate Finance Committee. Here is the Senate Transportation Committee’s strike-all version(link is external) of the bill. TOP #VTPOLI TWEETS Source: Leonine Public Affairs, Montpelier, Week 15. 3.23.2018. (link is external)Through a special arrangement with Leonine, Vermont Business Magazine republishes Leonine’s weekly legislative report on is external)last_img read more

TD Charitable Foundation supports COTS with $10K donation

first_imgTD Bank,Vermont Business Magazine The TD Charitable Foundation, the charitable giving arm of TD Bank recently donated a total of $10,000 to the Committee on Temporary Shelter (COTS) as part of the foundation’s commitment to giving back to the community. COTS is the largest provider in Vermont of shelter and services for people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. It serves more than 2,400 people annually, from birth to age 65+, primarily low- and extremely-low income households who reside in Chittenden County, Vermont. Founded in 1982, COTS provides emergency shelter to homeless families and individuals, homelessness prevention, housing navigation and referral services to those who are homeless or marginally housed, and permanent housing to low-income families and individuals. The funds from the TD Charitable Foundation will be used to support the organization’s homelessness prevention efforts through the COTS’ Housing Resource Center.”By supporting COTS’s efforts to provide prevention programs and services to individuals who are on the verge of homelessness, we believe we are contributing to breaking the cycle,” said Phil Daniels, Market President, TD Bank. “TD is committed to driving positive change through working collaborations that enrich the lives of our communities across Vermont, and we are honored to be a part of this effort.”The TD Charitable Foundation has been a longtime supporter of the Housing Resource Center, COTS innovative homelessness prevention and housing retention program. Over the years the TD Charitable Foundation has donated tens of thousands of dollars to the program designed to help prevent families in crisis from becoming homeless and to move people who are in emergency shelter more quickly into stable, sustainable housing.Rita Markley COTS Executive Director noted that the TD Charitable Foundation has been supporting COTS work for nearly two decades and is a key advocate for its homelessness prevention programs, “We are so grateful to have the continued support of TD Charitable Foundation. Their longtime partnership in our efforts to end homelessness by preventing it from happening in the first place has been invaluable.”A staunch commitment to active involvement in the local community is a vital element of the TD Bank philosophy. TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®and the TD Charitable Foundation provide support to affordable housing, financial literacy and education, and environmental initiatives, many of which focus on improving the welfare of children and families.About the TD Charitable FoundationThe TD Charitable Foundation is the charitable giving arm of TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, one of the 10 largest commercial banking organizations in the United States. Since its inception in 2002, the Foundation has distributed more than $193.8 million and more than 19,000 grants in charitable donations from Maine to Florida. The Foundation’s mission aligns with The Ready Commitment, a new multi-year program that TD launched in March 2018 to help individuals and communities prosper. As part of The Ready Commitment, TD targets CDN $1 billion (US $775 million) in total by 2030 towards community giving in four areas critical to opening doors for an inclusive tomorrow – Financial Security, a more Vibrant Planet, Connected Communities and Better Health. Through The Ready Commitment, TD’s aspiration is to link business, products, services, and community giving to help people feel more confident – not just about their finances, but about their future and their ability to achieve their personal goals in a changing world. For further information, visit is external).  More information on the TD Charitable Foundation, including the online grant application, is available at is external).Source: June 26, 2018 – Burlington, Vermont – The TD Charitable Foundationlast_img read more