UNION, N.J., March 27, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Center Bancorp, Inc. (Nasdaq:CNBC) (the "Corporation," or "Center"), parent company of Union Center National Bank ("UCNB" or "the Bank"), announces that it has been recognized by SNL Financial, a financial information firm, as one of 100 Top-Performing Community Banks of 2012 with $500M to $5B in assets in the country. It is the first time for Center to be recognized on this prestigious national list. SNL Financial, a provider of news and data on the banking industry among other sectors, "ranked the best-performing community banks using six core financial performance metrics that focus on profitability, asset quality and growth for the 12-month period ended Dec. 31, 2012," it stated in its March 20, 2013 press release. A "first" for Center to rank in this Top 100 Best Performing Community Banks list, "this recognition acknowledges the Bank's consistent focus on performance and strategic but conservative growth," states President & Chief Executive Officer Anthony C. Weagley. "As we enter 2013 and the beginning of Center's 'ninetieth' anniversary, we are focused, executing our business plans and in doing so advancing Center to a new level. Our number one priority is shareholder value and returns," added Mr. Weagley. SNL Financial, located in Charlottesville, VA, collects, standardizes and disseminates all relevant corporate, financial, market and M&A data – plus news and analysis – for various industries, including banking, since 1987. This SNL Financial ranking follows Center being named to the List of Top Performing Small-Cap Banks and Thrifts in the U.S. by Sandler O'Neill + Partners, L.P. in September, 2012 and having received Bauer Financial "Superior" Five-Star Rating for the 8 th Consecutive Quarter. "These results are a testament of the Bank's directors, management, and entire staff team spirit as well as of investor confidence in our ability to deliver results," said Anthony C. Weagley. "Center's culture is relationship driven at every level and we continue to be recognized for our hallmark personalized service, commitment to excellence, and results," he added. "We couldn't be more proud of this new recognition." About Center Bancorp Center Bancorp, Inc. is a bank holding company, which operates Union Center National Bank, its main subsidiary. Chartered in 1923, Union Center National Bank is one of the oldest national banks headquartered in the state of New Jersey and now ranks as the third largest national bank headquartered in the state. Union Center National Bank is currently the largest commercial bank headquartered in Union County. Its primary market niche is its commercial banking business. The Bank focuses its lending activities on commercial lending to small- and medium-sized businesses, real estate developers and high net worth individuals.