Bankers are usually uncomfortable talking about tje troubles their competitors are encountering, if only because they know that a few false steps could put them in the same boat.

But Bridgehampton National Bank president Kevin O’Connor couldn’t avoid it at his bank’s annual shareholder meeting Friday when a stock owner asked if he’d be interested in acquiring Smithtown Bancorp, which owns the troubled Bank of Smithtown. That bank has struggled with bad commercial real estate loans and is under a consent order with regulators to get its lending under control.

O’Connor initially rolled his eyes and smiled at the question, while other shareholders shouted, “No! No!”

Finally, O’Connor said the Bank of Smithtown has issues it “needs to work through,” and added that he didn’t know if shareholders wanted to get involved in that, especially when that bank is more than twice the size of their own.

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“I’m glad I’m here, and not there,” O’Connor concluded, as one shareholder muttered, “Amen.”

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