Dear Valued Customers,
I am writing to you in light of the recent events that have disrupted the banking industry. As you may have heard, two banks, Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, collapsed over the weekend after failing to raise capital and facing a run on deposits.
I understand that this news may have raised concerns about your own financial security and the safety of your funds with us. I want to assure you that WaterStone Bank is in a very different position than these banks and that your money is well protected.
How WaterStone Bank is Different
First of all, the ratio that best describes a Bank’s financial strength is its capital-to-assets ratio. WaterStone Bank (and its parent company, Waterstone Financial, Inc.) has over $370 million in capital reserves and a ratio in excess of 18%. This is 1.5x the average Wisconsin bank. While other banks were investing in long-term bonds to get yield in a low-interest rate environment, WaterStone Bank invested in shorter term mortgage-backed securities and ceased buying long-term municipal bonds. Because of this, WaterStone responded readily to raising interest rates and our capital has remained strong.
WaterStone Bank is also a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which guarantees your deposits up to $250,000 per depositor, per insured bank, for each account ownership category. In addition, we have had over $370 million in capital reserves over and above the FDIC insurance to further protect your deposits.
I hope this letter addresses concerns you may have about WaterStone Bank’s stability and security. We value your trust and loyalty, and we are committed to providing you with excellent, local service, as we have for the past 100 years.
If you have any further questions or feedback, please do not hesitate to contact me or any of our Community Presidents at one of our local branches. We are always here for you.