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Heartland Financial USA, Inc. Joins Small Business Lending Fund, Pays Off TARP

Heartland Financial USA, Inc. (NASDAQ: HTLF) announced today that it has received an investment of $81.7 million from the U.S. Department of the Treasury (“Treasury”) by issuing preferred stock under the Small Business Lending Fund (“SBLF”). The SBLF is a $30 billion voluntary program designed to encourage small business lending by providing capital to selected community banks.

Simultaneously with the receipt of the SBLF funds, Heartland redeemed the $81.7 million of preferred stock issued to Treasury in December 2008 under the Capital Purchase Program (“CPP”), a part of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (“TARP”). In addition to the full redemption of the CPP investment, Heartland paid a total of $11.2 million in dividends to Treasury during the period the investment was outstanding. Treasury continues to hold a warrant to purchase 609,687 shares of Heartland’s common stock at a price of $20.10 per share. Heartland is currently preparing a proposal to Treasury to initiate the process for repurchase of the warrant.

Lynn B. Fuller, Heartland’s chairman, president and CEO commented, “We view the Small Business Lending Fund as a new avenue to fulfill our mission to promote economic development in our communities. We plan to intensify our efforts to partner with small businesses to stimulate growth and create new jobs through our lending programs.”

Based on information provided by Treasury, 932 institutions applied for SBLF participation. Only 382, or approximately 40 percent, were approved as of September 1, 2011. On September 14, 2011, Treasury announced that 191 of those approved had received funding.

Fuller commented, “Just as we were honored to be selected to participate in the TARP almost three years ago, we are likewise privileged to be among a relatively small number of very healthy banks selected for SBLF funding. “

The Small Business Lending Fund is available only to community banking institutions under $10 billion in asset size. The SBLF is designed for businesses with sales of up to $50 million and provides for a maximum loan amount of $10 million.

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