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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

“The improvement in our deposit mix helped lower our funding costs by reducing our reliance on higher cost certificates of deposit, increasing new client relationships and improving our core funding position. To that point, our non-interest-bearing deposits increased 29% from a year ago and 100% of this organic growth was from our existing branch network,” said Grescovich

At December 31, 2011, total stockholders’ equity was $532.5 million, including $120.7 million attributable to preferred stock, and common stockholders’ equity was $411.7 million, or $23.50 per share. During 2010, Banner completed a common stock offering, issuing a total of 85,639,000 shares in the offering, resulting in net proceeds of approximately $161.6 million. In May 2011, Banner announced a 1-for-7 reverse stock split, which took effect on June 1, 2011. Every seven shares of Banner’s pre-split common shares were automatically consolidated into one post-split share. Taking the reverse stock split into account, Banner had 17.6 million shares outstanding at December 31, 2011, compared to 16.2 million shares outstanding a year ago. Tangible common stockholders’ equity, which excludes preferred stock and other intangibles, was $405.4 million at December 31, 2011, or 9.54% of tangible assets, compared to $394.3 million, or 9.20% of tangible assets at September 30, 2011 and $383.9 million, or 8.73% of tangible assets a year ago. Tangible book value per common share was $23.14 at December 31, 2011.

Augmented by the stock offering and continued sales of common stock under its Dividend Reinvestment and Direct Stock Purchase and Sale Plan (DRIP), Banner Corporation and its subsidiary banks continue to maintain capital levels significantly in excess of the requirements to be categorized as “well-capitalized” under applicable regulatory standards. Banner Corporation used a significant portion of the net proceeds from last year’s offering to strengthen Banner Bank’s regulatory capital ratios while retaining the balance for general working capital purposes, including additional capital investments in its subsidiary banks if appropriate. Through December 31, 2011, Banner Corporation had invested $110.0 million of the net proceeds as additional paid-in common equity in Banner Bank, although no additional equity investment was made during the current year. Banner Corporation’s Tier 1 leverage capital to average assets ratio was 13.44% and its total capital to risk-weighted assets ratio was 18.07% at December 31, 2011. Banner Bank’s Tier 1 leverage ratio was 11.71 % at December 31, 2011, which is in excess of the 10% minimum level targeted in its Memorandum of Understanding with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (Washington DFI).

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