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Press release from Business Wire

Sterling Bank Named a Top 10 Workplace in Oregon

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Sterling Bank Named a Top 10 Workplace in Oregon18:34 EDT Wednesday, September 19, 2012 SPOKANE, Wash. (Business Wire) -- Sterling Bank, a subsidiary of Sterling Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:STSA),has been named one of the top 10 workplaces in Oregon and southwest Washington by The Oregonian newspaper. Partnering with WorkplaceDynamics, a consulting and data-gathering firm, earlier this year The Oregonian surveyed the employees of more than 100 companies to determine the top 10 large companies, top 10 mid-size companies and top 40 small companies in the region in terms of workplace satisfaction. Sterling was recognized in the large-company category at a special awards ceremony last week. “This prestigious award is an expression of the commitment, integrity, dedication and teamwork of all Sterling employees across our region,” said Ezra Eckhardt, Sterling Bank's president and chief operating officer. “It also affirms our commitment to investing in and providing opportunities for all of our employees across our five-state footprint.” In helping to achieve its goal of being an employer of choice, Sterling recently implemented a volunteer time off program that gives employees 12 paid hours per year to volunteer during work hours with a non-profit, school or public service organization of their choice. “This program is not only a great benefit for employees, it also is a great benefit to the communities we serve, as it allows our employees another way to help improve lives and strengthen communities,” Eckhardt said. “Sterling employees last year donated 44,000 volunteer hours to their communities, and with this new program, we expect to see that number exceed 50,000 hours this year.” In addition to comprehensive medical and retirement benefits, Sterling also offers its employees reimbursement for commuting costs, including free or subsidized bus and metro passes; a wellness program that includes employee fitness challenges and partial reimbursement for health club and weight loss program membership fees; reimbursement for adoption-related expenses; as well as several other perks and benefits. About Sterling Bank Sterling Savings Bank, the principal operating subsidiary of Sterling Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:STSA) of Spokane, Wash., is a Washington state chartered and federally insured commercial bank. Sterling Savings Bank does business as Sterling 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 Sterling BankMedia contact:Cara L. Coon, 509-626-5348cara.coon@bankwithsterling.comorInvestor contact:Patrick Rusnak,