Suffolk County National Bank president steps down

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Suffolk County National Bank headquarters on Second Street in Riverhead.

Citing a need for a leadership change, J. Gordon Huszagh, CEO and president of Suffolk Bancorp the parent company of Suffolk County National Bank, has stepped down from his position, bank officials announced Tuesday.

He will be succeeded by banking industry veteran and financial consultant Howard Bluver.

“I have come to the conclusion that a change in leadership would be in the best interest of our loyal stockholders,” Mr. Huszagh, the News-Review’s 2009 Business Person of the Year, said in a statement. “It is time for Suffolk to move on with meeting the needs of our customers and stockholders.”

Suffolk County National Bank

Board chairman Edgar Goodale told the News-Review that Mr. Huszagh will continue to work with bank officials during the transition process. He called Mr. Huszagh’s decision to leave a mutual agreement.

Suffolk Bancorp last month reported $3 million in earnings for the third quarter which ended Sept. 30. Still, the Riverhead-based bank reported a $1.2 million net loss for 2011 to date, down from a $3.2 million loss the previous year. Fourth quarter results were not yet available.

The bank was also in danger of delisting with NASDAQ after it failed to file first and second quarter results for 2011, documenting its profits and losses. The bank said it is now up to date in its filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Mr. Bluver acknowledged in a statement the troubles the bank has faced in the past two years, but said he is confident the bank will be successful.

“I am well aware that Suffolk and many of its small business borrowers have faced significant challenges as the national recession has affected the East End of Long Island,” he said. “That Suffolk has been able to weather the recession and maintain such a strong financial foundation is a testament to both its Board of Directors and its dedicated employees.”

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