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Press release from Business Wire

Sterling Bank Opening Branch in Pullman, Wash.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Sterling Bank Opening Branch in Pullman, Wash.12:00 EDT Monday, August 13, 2012 SPOKANE, Wash. (Business Wire) -- Sterling Bank, headquartered in Spokane, Wash., and a subsidiary of Sterling Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:STSA), today announced plans to open a new branch in Pullman, Wash., in early 2013 to serve new consumer and business customers. “Sterling has been working to create a presence in Pullman to help extend our Palouse footprint,” said Ezra Eckhardt, president of Sterling Bank. “We continue to look for ways to improve lives and strengthen communities, and are excited to introduce our Sterling brand of service to the Pullman community.” The new Sterling Bank branch will be located at 225 N. Grand Ave., at The Depot, and will occupy approximately 2,300 square feet. Sterling currently has two other branches in Whitman County, one in Colfax and the other in LaCrosse, which opened in July 2012. Sterling has 30 branches in eastern Washington. In total Sterling operates 187 branches in five western states. About Sterling Financial Corporation Sterling Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:STSA) of Spokane, Wash., is the bank holding company for Sterling Savings Bank, a Washington state chartered and federally insured commercial bank. Sterling Savings Bank does business as Sterling Bank, First Independent Bank and Sonoma Bank (in California). Sterling offers banking products and services, mortgage lending, and trust and investment products to individuals, small businesses, corporations and other commercial organizations. As of June 30, 2012, Sterling had assets of $9.6 billion and operated 187 depository branches in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and California. Visit Sterling's website at Forward-Looking Statements This release contains forward-looking statements that are not historical facts and that are intended to be covered by the safe harbor for "forward-looking statements" provided by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements may include, but are not limited to, statements about Sterling's plans, objectives, expectations, strategies and intentions and other statements contained in this release that are not historical facts and pertain to Sterling's future operating results. When used in this release, the words "plans," "expects," "will be," and similar expressions are generally intended to identify forward-looking statements. Actual results may differ materially from the results discussed in these forward-looking statements because such statements are inherently subject to significant assumptions, risks and uncertainties, many of which are difficult to predict and are generally beyond Sterling's control. Other factors that could cause actual conditions, events or results to differ significantly from those described in the forward-looking statements may be found under the headings "Risk Factors" and "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" in Sterling's Annual Report on Form 10-K, as updated periodically in Sterling's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Unless legally required, Sterling disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements. Sterling Financial CorporationInvestor contact:Patrick Rusnak, 509-227-0961patrick.rusnak@bankwithsterling.comorMedia contact:Cara L. Coon,