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Interview With The President And CEO: CMS Bancorp, Inc. (CMSB) - John E. Ritacco

May 2, 2012 - The Wall Street Transcript has just published U.S. Banking Report: An Investor offering a timely review of the sector. This Special Report contains expert industry commentary through in-depth interviews with public company CEOs, Equity Analysts and Money Managers. Please find an excerpt below.

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John E. Ritacco has served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of CMS Bancorp, Inc., since 2007, and of Community Mutual Savings Bank since 2005. He serves as a Member of the board of directors of Community Mutual Saving Bank, CMS Bancorp, Inc., and CM Charitable Foundation. He began his career at Fleet Bank in Providence, R.I., where he spent fifteen years; eight years in the retail bank as a Branch Manager and Area Manager and seven years in commercial lending, private client and franchise leasing areas of the company. In 1993, Mr. Ritacco joined First Fidelity Bank, later First Union, in Westchester, N.Y., as the Senior Vice President for middle market commercial lending responsible for the Westchester and Connecticut markets. Mr. Ritacco is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where he earned a B.A. in history/political science. In 2011, Mr. Ritacco was awarded an honorary doctorate from Johnson & Wales University.

TWST: Would you begin with a brief historical sketch of the company and a picture of its operations at the present time?

Mr. Ritacco: Community Mutual Savings Bank is 125 years old. We were originally a small local mutual savings bank. I came to the company in April of 2005, and we embarked on a complete rebuild and growth strategy. In April of 2007, we took the company public and raised $20 million. We are traded on the Nasdaq under the symbol CMSB. Over the past six years, we've transitioned the company to more of a commercial/small business entity. We differentiated the business lines by residential and commercial/small business. We've added a number of new technology advances: online banking, telephone banking and deposit remote capture for the small business customer, which helps to lessen the need to have a branch office on every corner. In addition, we relocated most of our branches to better and more convenient locations within the same communities. We rebranded our company with a new slogan, "Community Mutual Savings Bank, You're worth more here." Each of our branches is modern, welcoming and has all of the conveniences of a modern branch: parking, night deposit, ATMs. The organization came from more of a quieter, local mutual savings bank, to now a broader-based, technology-based savings bank that is focused on the small business and the retail banking customer.

TWST: Would you tell us about the area Community Mutual serves and some of its key products and services?

Mr. Ritacco: We serve the Greater Westchester area: Westchester, Dutchess, Putnam, Rockland and parts of Fairfield County. Our business in each of those areas is a mix of residential and commercial. Our demographics are pretty strong. Westchester is one of the top eight wealthiest counties in the country. We compete pretty heavily not only with the big banks, but with some fairly good local community banks. We differentiate ourselves in the marketplace by having local decision makers and local branch managers; people who staff our branches generally live and work in the communities we serve. I believe in being involved in the activities of our communities. I often pick up my own phone and answer the questions and concerns of our customers. Community banking means being actively involved with customers helping them to get the loans in a timely manner or helping them to resolve questions and issues which affect their daily lives. I spend a fair amount of my time on customer calls, whether it's for a loan activity or just to meet with customers. It's the right thing to do. They need to know that there is a decision maker in the community who can help them with their banking needs.

TWST: You recently reported strong growth in net income and earnings per share for the fiscal year ended September 30 quarter.

Mr. Ritacco: Yes, our results have been ever improving. We expect them to continue to improve despite some of the very strong headwinds. We are in a very good market. We pride ourselves on providing high levels of customer service. Being local and being accessible to our customers has paid a very big dividend for us over the past three years while the larger institutions have struggled to gain their footings through the recession and some of the economic turmoil that they have faced.

The remainder of this 88 page U.S. Banking Report: An Investor can be immediately viewed by purchasing online.

The Wall Street Transcript is a unique service for investors and industry researchers - providing fresh commentary and insight through verbatim interviews with CEOs and research analysts. This special issue is available by calling (212) 952-7433 or via The Wall Street Transcript Online.

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