BROOKLYN, N.Y., Jan. 05, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Kenneth J. Mahon, President and CEO of Dime Community Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:DCOM) (the "Company" or "Dime"), the parent company of Dime Community Bank (the "bank"), today issued the following statement:

Dime Community Bank, headquartered in Brooklyn, New York, employs over 400 people and serves customers in the five boroughs of New York City, and the surrounding metropolitan area in twenty-eight individual communities and neighborhoods.

Beginning in 2018, like many corporations, the Company expects to retain a larger share of corporate earnings thanks to the recently enacted reductions in the federal corporate tax rate.  How will Dime employ this new capital?

The Board of Directors and executive officers will be guided by one overriding principle: get the tax savings back into the economy while acting in the best interests of all of Dime's stakeholders. Stakeholders include our shareholders, our employees, the local communities that we serve and the regulators who are charged with the oversight of the safety and soundness of the banking industry.

What We Will Do

The tax reduction represents an opportunity to build our business and to stimulate economic growth, and that is what we intend to do. Dime will:

  • Create jobs, by accelerating the hiring of new associates, particularly in technology, regulatory compliance, cybersecurity and relationship banking, along with more rapid adoption of technology to improve the customer experience and bring additional products and services to our customers; absent the new tax law, these business-building actions would normally have occurred over a much longer time frame;
  • Review our corporate policy and practices relating to common stock dividends to determine the appropriate level of payout in light of the improved earnings outlook over the near and intermediate term.  We believe that our long-term shareholders should directly benefit from the reduced corporate tax rate, and we wish to encourage them to keep their investment in DCOM;
  • Pay a one-time $1,000 bonus to all non-executive employees thereby enabling them to also share immediately in the benefits of the tax cut.  No increases in base compensation resulting solely from the tax benefit are being considered, as Dime has long maintained market competitive compensation throughout the organization, and well in excess of statutory “minimum wage” levels;
  • Institute a Corporate Matching Gift program as a way to encourage Dime's employees to give back to their communities and leverage their commitment through a matching gift.
  • In 2017, Dime made over $450,000 available to local charities and disaster recovery organizations. We also launched our inaugural grass-roots charitable giving platform through the #dimegivesback social media campaign. Beginning in 2018, our goal is to double the amount of our philanthropic and community giving.

What We Won't Do

  • Dime will not pay windfall bonuses to executive management.  We will scrupulously avoid paying increased compensation to executives based solely upon this reduction in Dime's taxes.  Further, the internal profitability goals that are the basis of executive management compensation will be adjusted to reflect the new economics of Dime's operations and financial results to assure that no such windfall is inadvertently paid;
  • We will not sacrifice our traditional discipline around expense management. Management remains steadfast in its commitment to maintain its operating expenses-to-total revenue among the best in class relative to its peers.

Even in light of these beneficial initiatives, a significant portion of the additional retained earnings will help build capital in order to enable Dime to remain the profitable and safe banking institution that has long been our hallmark.

In closing, we at Dime will be responsible stewards of the benefit that the tax cut brings.  Dime's mission statement says that each day, we strive to be “the bank of choice for clients, the employer of choice for individuals, and the company of choice for investors”.  Today, for the Board and management of Dime, that means prudently allocating the proceeds from the tax cut toward helping to enrich the lives of our communities and our constituents.

The Company is currently evaluating the financial impact of the new tax law for the quarter ended December 31, 2017, and intends to release information in the upcoming weeks.

ABOUT DIME COMMUNITY BANCSHARES, INC.

The Company had $6.44 billion in consolidated assets as of September 30, 2017, and is the parent company of the bank. The bank was founded in 1864, is headquartered in Brooklyn, New York, and currently has twenty-eight branches located throughout Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, Nassau and Suffolk County, New York. More information on the Company and the bank can be found on Dime's website at www.dime.com.

This news release contains a number of forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the "Exchange Act"). These statements may be identified by use of words such as "anticipate," "believe," “continue,” "could," "estimate," "expect," "intend," “likely,” "may," "outlook," "plan," "potential," "predict," "project," "should," "will," "would" and similar terms and phrases, including references to assumptions.

Forward-looking statements are based upon various assumptions and analyses made by the Company in light of management's experience and its perception of historical trends, current conditions and expected future developments, as well as other factors it believes are appropriate under the circumstances. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors (many of which are beyond the Company's control) that could cause actual results to differ materially from future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Accordingly, you should not place undue reliance on such statements.

Leslie Veluswamy, Senior Vice President and Director of Financial Reporting, 718-782-6200 extension 5204