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Banner Corporation Increases Quarterly Cash Dividend To $0.12 Per Share; Schedules 1Q13 Conference Call And Webcast

WALLA WALLA, Wash., March 27, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Banner Corporation (Nasdaq:BANR), the parent company of Banner Bank and Islanders Bank, today announced its Board of Directors increased the quarterly cash dividend to $0.12 per share. The dividend will be payable April 15, 2013, to common shareholders of record on April 5, 2013. Previously Banner paid a regular cash dividend of $0.01 per share.

"This increase in our cash dividend reflects our strong performance in 2012 and our expectation of continued success in 2013," said Mark J. Grescovich, President and Chief Executive Officer. This is the 70 th consecutive quarterly cash dividend paid since Banner instituted regular quarterly cash dividends in 1996.

Banner Corporation also announced that it will report first quarter 2013 results after the market closes on Monday, April 22, 2013. Management will host a conference call on Tuesday, April 23 at 8:00 a.m. PDT (11:00 a.m. EDT) to discuss the results. The call will also be broadcast live via the internet.

Interested investors may listen to the call live or via replay at www.bannerbank.com . Investment professionals are invited to dial (480) 629-9771 to participate in the call. A replay will be available for one week at (303) 590-3030, using access code 4610343.

About the Company

Banner Corporation is a $4.27 billion bank holding company operating two commercial banks in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. Banner serves the Pacific Northwest region with a full range of deposit services and business, commercial real estate, construction, residential, agricultural and consumer loans. Visit Banner Bank on the Web at www.bannerbank.com .

CONTACT: MARK J. GRESCOVICH,
         PRESIDENT & CEO
         LLOYD W. BAKER, CFO
         (509) 527-3636

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