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Provident Financial Services gearing up for $10B mark

($9.03 billion) intends to spend about $250,000 in 2016 tocontinue its preparation for going over the $10-billion asset threshold,Chairman, President and CEO Christopher Martin said during an April 29conference call to discuss first-quarter results.

Martin saidthe company continues to join industry trade groups to lobby for changes in theDodd-Frank Act regarding the $10billion mark.

"[B]utthere appears to be little hope to change the rules during the presidentialelection cycle," Martin said, according to a transcript.

He saidthat on the M&A front, the company's near-term strategy is to takeadvantage of the customer dislocation and disruption bought about byacquisition-driven business integration within its markets.

"Disciplinein earnings accretion with an eye towards $10 billion remain the watchwords inour pursuit of acquisitions, whether a whole bank or a wealth management firm,"Martin said.

The companysaid that net incomefor the first quarter was $21.0 million, or 33 cents per share. It was $19.8million, or 32 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter.