Shareholders of IBS Financial Corp. have overwhelmingly rejected dissidents' efforts to force the thrift to consider a sale.

More than 67.6% of the shareholder votes cast at the annual meeting of the $726.5 million-asset thrift went to two incumbent directors instead of a slate proposed a shareholder group.

The group, led by Lawrence Seidman, has criticized the performance of IBS and urged officials to sell it to take advantage of consolidation in the industry. The two shareholders on the alternative slate favored sale.

Shareholders also rejected a shareholder proposal and ratified Deloitte & Touche as the company's independent auditors for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30.

Mr. Seidman is suing IBS directors for libel over comments made about him in a letter to shareholders from IBS chairman Joseph M. Ochman Sr.

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