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Banner Corporation Reports Net Income Of $15.6 Million, Or $0.79 Per Diluted Share, In Third Quarter; Net Income Highlighted By Strong Revenue Generation And Improved Credit Quality

Total other operating expenses (non-interest expenses) were $33.4 million in the third quarter of 2012, compared to $35.7 million in the preceding quarter and $41.0 million in the third quarter of 2011. In the first nine months of 2012, total other operating expenses were $106.9 million compared to $119.4 million in the first nine months of 2011. The decrease was largely a result of decreased costs related to real estate owned and FDIC deposit insurance.

Credit Quality

“We made very good progress in continuing to reduce problem assets during the third quarter and our credit costs continued to decline and were significantly below those of a year ago. As a result of this progress, all of our key credit quality metrics have further improved and Banner’s reserve levels remain substantial,” said Grescovich.

Banner recorded a $3.0 million provision for loan losses in the third quarter of 2012, compared to a $4.0 million provision in the preceding quarter and a $5.0 million provision in the third quarter a year ago. The allowance for loan losses at September 30, 2012 totaled $78.8 million, representing 2.45% of total loans outstanding and 204% of non-performing loans. Non-performing loans decreased 18% to $38.7 million at September 30, 2012, compared to $47.4 million three months earlier, and decreased 53% when compared to $83.1 million a year earlier.

Banner’s real estate owned and repossessed assets decreased 21% to $20.4 million at September 30, 2012, compared to $25.8 million three months earlier, and decreased 69% when compared to $66.5 million a year ago. Net charge-offs in the third quarter of 2012 totaled $4.4 million, or 0.14% of average loans outstanding, compared to $5.3 million, or 0.16% of average loans outstanding for the second quarter of 2012 and $10.9 million, or 0.33% of average loans outstanding for the third quarter a year ago.

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