PONCE, Puerto Rico - The stockholders of Ponce Federal Bank have approved the proposal for the bank's conversion from a federal savings bank to a commercial bank, operating under the laws of the commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

The conversion is expected to provide the bank with added business flexibility, avoid the risk of double taxation of future corporate income, and will eliminate an estate tax disadvantage to shareholders who are U.S. citizens and residents of Puerto Rico.

After the conversion, Ponce Federal's deposits would continue to be insured by the Savings Association Insurance Fund administered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

The company's shares will continue to be listed on Nasdaq.

Ponce Federal is the second largest thrift institution operating in Puerto Rico and maintains an islandwide network of 20 branches.

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