Firestone Financial Joins Berkshire Hills

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Needham, Mass. – Berkshire Hills Bancorp, Inc. (NYSE: BHLB) has completed the acquisition of Firestone Financial Corp. effective today. Firestone is now known as Firestone Financial, LLC and is operating as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Berkshire Bank.

“This partnership brings together two organizations with rich histories and strong values. We both share a deep commitment to our customers, employees and the communities we serve,” stated David Cohen Firestone President and CEO.

“We are pleased to welcome the customers, employees and shareholders of Firestone to America’s Most Exciting Bank,” stated Berkshire President and CEO, Michael P. Daly. “This combination increases the client offerings for both companies, diversifies our loan portfolio and provides a valuable future growth channel.”

David Cohen, continued, “This year marks our 50th year in business and as we start the next chapter with Berkshire support, we look forward to continuing to grow as Firestone Financial with the same management team, staff, and customers that helped us to achieve this amazing milestone.”

BACKGROUND

Berkshire Hills Bancorp is the parent of Berkshire Bank – America's Most Exciting Bank®. The Company, recognized for its entrepreneurial approach and distinctive culture, has approximately $7.5 billion in assets and 93 full service branch offices in Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, and Vermont providing personal and business banking, insurance, and wealth management services. For more information, visit www.berkshirebank.com.

FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS

This document contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 about the proposed merger of Berkshire and Firestone. These statements include statements regarding the anticipated closing date of the transaction and anticipated future results. Forward-looking statements can be identified by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts. They often include words like "believe," "expect," "anticipate," "estimate," and "intend" or future or conditional verbs such as "will," "would," "should," "could" or "may." Certain factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from expected results include delays in completing the merger, difficulties in integrating Firestone into Berkshire, increased competitive pressures, changes in the interest rate environment, changes in general economic conditions, legislative and regulatory changes that adversely affect the business in which Berkshire and Firestone are engaged, changes in the securities markets and other risks and uncertainties disclosed from time to time in documents that Berkshire files with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

ABOUT FIRESTONE FINANCIAL 

Founded in 1965, Firestone Financial is a nationwide finance company serving the amusement, carnival, fitness, vending and laundry industries. The Company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Berkshire Bank (Member FDIC). Interested parties can learn more about Firestone Financial at www.firestonefinancial.com or by calling Firestone Financial at 800- 851-1001

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