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Banner Corporation Reports Net Income Of $5.1 Million In Fourth Quarter; 2011 Net Income Highlighted By Improved Credit Quality And Strong Revenue Generation

Deposit costs decreased by 11 basis points compared to the preceding quarter and 44 basis points compared to the fourth quarter a year earlier. Funding costs for the fourth quarter of 2011 decreased 10 basis points compared to the previous quarter and 41 basis points from the fourth quarter a year ago. Asset yields decreased 13 basis points compared to the prior quarter and decreased 14 basis points from the fourth quarter a year ago. Loan yields remained unchanged from the preceding quarter and decreased 14 basis points from the fourth quarter a year ago. Nonaccruing loans reduced the margin by approximately 14 basis points in the fourth quarter of 2011 compared to approximately 21 basis points in the preceding quarter and approximately 33 basis points in the fourth quarter of 2010.

“The continued growth in core deposits and reduced drag from non-performing assets over the past year have led to a solid increase in our revenues from core operations compared to a year earlier,” said Grescovich. Net interest income, before the provision for loan losses, was $41.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2011, compared to $41.7 million in the preceding quarter and $40.8 million in the fourth quarter a year ago. For the year 2011, net interest income, before the provision for loan losses, increased 4% to $164.6 million, compared to $157.8 million for 2010. Revenues from core operations* (net interest income before the provision for loan losses plus total other operating income excluding fair value and other-than-temporary impairment (OTTI) adjustments) was $50.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2011, compared to $50.1 million in the third quarter of 2011 and $49.0 million in the fourth quarter a year ago. For the year, revenues from core operations increased 4% to $196.2 million, compared to $189.4 million a year earlier.

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