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Jose R. Fernandez, President, CEO, Vice Chairman & Director of Oriental Financial Group Inc. (OFG), Interviews with The Wall Street Transcript

67 WALL STREET, New York - April 24, 2013 - The Wall Street Transcript has just published its Money Center Banks Report offering a timely review of the sector to serious investors and industry executives. This special feature contains expert industry commentary through in-depth interviews with public company CEOs and Equity Analysts. The full issue is available by calling (212) 952-7433 or via The Wall Street Transcript Online.

Topics covered: Investing in Regional Banks - Increase In Investor Risk Tolerance - Regulatory Obstacles and Fee Income Replacement - Fiscal Cliff Effects on Banking - Interest Rates and Loan-Growth Strategies - Regulatory Outlook Gains Clarity

Companies include: Oriental Financial Group Inc. (OFG) and many more.

In the following excerpt from the Money Center Banks Report, the President, CEO, Vice Chairman & Director of Oriental Financial Group Inc. (OFG) discusses company strategy and the outlook for this vital industry:

TWST: Can you begin with a brief introduction to Oriental Financial Group, including some highlights from the company's history and an overview of your operating segments?

Mr. Fernandez: Oriental Financial Group is a financial holding company that operates primarily in Puerto Rico. It's been in business for almost 50 years, 49 actually this year. We operate mostly in Puerto Rico. We have a banking subsidiary, which is Oriental Bank; a broker/dealer subsidiary, Oriental Financial Services; and an insurance agency subsidiary called Oriental Insurance. We also have a retirement planning third-party administrator in Boca Raton, Florida, called Caribbean Pension Consultants.

When you asked me about some company highlights, I would like to take you through the last eight years or so. Back in 2004, Oriental had grown significantly in the financial services and trust business. In 2004, we decided that it was getting difficult in Puerto Rico in terms of the macroeconomic environment. We decided that we needed to go out and raise capital to create a fortress balance sheet. We wanted to make sure that we were able to weather the storm because of what we felt was coming to Puerto Rico, given the economic climate at the time, so we raised the capital, a combination of preferred and common equity. I became CEO at the end of 2004.

Once we raised the capital, we decided to start to invest in the infrastructure of our bank in terms of people, processes and technologies. We wanted to make sure that we were ready in terms of capabilities to grow once the economy stabilized and/or to take advantage of what we believed was potential consolidation in the banking industry in Puerto Rico. In 2007, we updated our core banking system platform; we made a big investment there.

Then in 2010, we made our first significant acquisition, where we bought certain assets and liabilities of Eurobank...

For more of this interview and many others visit the Wall Street Transcript - a unique service for investors and industry researchers - providing fresh commentary and insight through verbatim interviews with CEOs, portfolio managers and research analysts. This special issue is available by calling (212) 952-7433 or via The Wall Street Transcript Online.