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Banner Corporation Earns $9.2 Million, Or $0.40 Per Diluted Share, In First Quarter; Net Income Highlighted By Strong Revenue Generation And Improved Credit Quality

The combined total of securities at fair value, available for sale and held to maturity, was $541.3 million at March 31, 2012 compared to $622.0 million at December 31, 2011 and $407.0 million at March 31, 2011. The aggregate total of securities and interest-bearing deposits decreased to $685.2 million at March 31, 2012 compared to $691.7 million at December 31, 2011 and $678.9 million a year ago. The change in the mix of interest-bearing deposits and securities holdings compared to a year ago reflects a modest extension of the expected duration of this aggregate position designed to increase the yield relative to interest-bearing deposits. The securities purchased in recent periods were primarily short- to intermediate-term U.S. Government Agency notes and mortgage-backed securities and, to a lesser extent, intermediate-term tax-exempt municipal securities.

Deposits totaled $3.43 billion at March 31, 2012, compared to $3.48 billion at the end of the preceding quarter and $3.54 billion a year ago. Non-interest-bearing accounts increased 24% to $771.8 million at March 31, 2012, compared to $622.8 million a year ago. At December 31, 2011, non-interest-bearing accounts totaled $777.6 million. Interest-bearing transaction and savings accounts were $1.46 billion at March 31, 2012, compared to $1.45 billion at December 31, 2011 and $1.46 billion a year ago.

“The improvements in our deposit mix are reflective of our super community bank strategy that is reducing our funding cost by remixing our deposits away from high-priced CDs, growing new client relationships, and improving our core funding position. To that point, total transaction and savings accounts increased by 7% compared to a year ago and non-interest-bearing accounts increased by 24% over the same period,” said Grescovich.

On March 31, 2012, Banner Bank repaid a $50 million, three-year borrowing that was guaranteed under the FDIC Temporary Liquidity Guarantee Program (TLGP) as reflected in other borrowings on the attached financial statements. Assets totaled $4.16 billion at March 31, 2012, compared to $4.26 billion at the end of the preceding quarter and $4.30 billion a year ago.

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