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Heartland Financial USA, Inc. Recognized As A Forbes Best Bank In America For 2013

Heartland Financial USA, Inc. (NASDAQ: HTLF) has been named a “ Forbes Best Bank 2013.” In its annual review of the largest publicly traded banks and thrifts, Forbes ranked Heartland Financial 39 th among a nationwide group of 100 leading banking organizations with assets ranging from $4.5 billion to over $2 trillion.

Said Lynn B. Fuller, chairman, president and chief executive officer, “We are pleased to be ranked among the best banks in America for 2013. The year 2012 produced strong results for our shareholders, targeted expansions in our community banking footprint, and 16% deposit growth. The Forbes ranking reflects our success and our outlook for continued strong performance in 2013.”

To compile the rankings, Forbes used data collected by SNL Financial through the third quarter of 2012 on the country’s largest publicly traded banks and thrifts. The data covered eight metrics of financial health: return on average equity; net interest margin; nonperforming loans (NPLs) as a percentage of loans; nonperforming assets as percentage of assets; reserves as a percentage of NPLs; two capital ratios (Tier 1 and risk-based); and leverage ratio. Forbes generated its ranking based on an average of the individual ranks of each metric.

“We attribute our strong performance to both our loyal and satisfied customers and our disciplined financial management,” said Fuller. In 2012, Heartland Financial’s net income increased by 76 percent over 2011, with earnings per share growing by 122 percent. “The shared success of our network of subsidiary community banks creates an outstanding platform for continued growth.”

About Heartland Financial USA, Inc.

Heartland Financial USA, Inc. is a $5.0 billion diversified financial services company providing commercial and retail banking, residential mortgage, wealth management, investment services, insurance and consumer finance services. Heartland currently has 69 banking locations in 47 communities in Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, New Mexico, Arizona, Montana, Colorado and Minnesota, as well as mortgage loan production offices in California, Nevada, Wyoming, Idaho and North Dakota. Additional information about Heartland Financial USA, Inc. is available at www.htlf.com.

Safe Harbor Statement

This release, and future oral and written statements of Heartland and its management, may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 about Heartland’s financial condition, results of operations, plans, objectives, future performance and business. Although these forward-looking statements are based upon the beliefs, expectations and assumptions of Heartland’s management, there are a number of factors, many of which are beyond the ability of management to control or predict, that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in its forward-looking statements. These factors, which are detailed in the risk factors included in Heartland’s Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, include, among others: (i) the strength of the local and national economy; (ii) the economic impact of past and any future terrorist threats and attacks and any acts of war, (iii) changes in state and federal laws, regulations and governmental policies concerning the Company’s general business; (iv) changes in interest rates and prepayment rates of the Company’s assets; (v) increased competition in the financial services sector and the inability to attract new customers; (vi) changes in technology and the ability to develop and maintain secure and reliable electronic systems; (vii) the loss of key executives or employees; (viii) changes in consumer spending; (ix) unexpected results of acquisitions; (x) unexpected outcomes of existing or new litigation involving the Company; and (xi) changes in accounting policies and practices. All statements in this release, including forward-looking statements, speak only as of the date they are made, and Heartland undertakes no obligation to update any statement in light of new information or future events.

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