Commenting on the announcement, Leonard Dorminey, President and Chief Executive Officer of Heritage Financial Group, Inc., said, "We are pleased to welcome all Citizens Bank of Effingham customers to HeritageBank of the South. We pledge to make this transition as simple and transparent as possible for all and demonstrate the distinctly different style of banking that our customers have come to expect from HeritageBank of the South. Likewise, we welcome the loyal employees of Citizens who join us today and believe they will find this change personally and professionally rewarding. We stress to our new customers that their deposits are safe and fully accessible using their existing account numbers, checks, and debit/ATM cards. We look forward to forging even stronger relationships with all current Citizens Bank customers in the months and years ahead.

"With the recent completion of our second-step offering, we are pleased to have this opportunity to deploy our strengthened capital position," Dorminey continued. "This acquisition, which greatly expands our footprint across southern Georgia, extends our presence eastward from Statesboro to the strong and diverse Savannah market, giving us increased potential to grow regionally." Dorminey noted that, considering the Company's strong capital position – with a total risk-based capital ratio of 26.4% at December 31, 2010, he believes the Company remains well positioned to take advantage of possible future acquisition opportunities and FDIC-assisted deals that make sense for HeritageBank of the South's business and markets.

Heritage Financial Group, Inc. is the holding company for HeritageBank of the South, a community-oriented bank serving primarily South Georgia and North Central Florida through 20 full-service branch locations and two mortgage production offices. As of December 31, 2010, the Company reported total assets of approximately $755.4 million and total stockholders' equity of approximately $119.4 million. For more information about the Company, visit HeritageBank of the South on the Web at www.eheritagebank.com and see Investor Relations under About Us.

Except for historical information contained herein, the matters included in this news release and other information in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission may contain certain "forward-looking statements," within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. We intend such forward-looking statements to be covered by the safe harbor provisions for forward-looking statements contained in the Private Securities Reform Act of 1995 and include this statement for purposes of these safe harbor provisions. Further information concerning the Company and its business, including additional factors that could materially affect our financial results, is included in our other filings with the SEC.

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