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Press release from Business Wire

Sterling Bank Named Top Corporate Philanthropist by Puget Sound Business Journal

Friday, May 17, 2013

Sterling Bank Named Top Corporate Philanthropist by Puget Sound Business Journal

18:46 EDT Friday, May 17, 2013

SPOKANE, Wash. (Business Wire) -- Sterling Bank, the principal operating subsidiary of Sterling Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:STSA), was named one of Washington state's top corporate philanthropists at the Puget Sound Business Journal's annual “Corporate Citizenship Awards” luncheon.

Among the hundreds of companies competing for consideration in this year's awards, Sterling was a top corporate philanthropist among community banks and ranked third overall for medium-sized companies, contributing more than $651,000 to Washington state charities and non-profits.

“It is an honor to be recognized as one of Washington state's most philanthropic companies,” said Bob Weisel, Puget Sound market president. “This award is a testament to our employees who are focused on creating bridges to the possible for our customers and communities. Sustaining a vibrant cultural and economic life where we live and work is at the core of Sterling's mission.”

In 2012, Sterling donated more than $971,500 to community organizations throughout its footprint, including Northwest Harvest, YMCA, Rachel's Challenge and Habitat for Humanity. Sterling employees were also active in their communities last year, contributing more than 53,000 hours to nearly 2,000 charitable organizations. Of the total hours volunteered, approximately 13,000 were part of Sterling's employee volunteer time-off program that was implemented in 2012. Through the program, Sterling provides employees with 12 paid hours per year to volunteer during work hours with a nonprofit, school or public service organization of their choice.

More information about Sterling Bank's giving program is available online at: https://www.bankwithsterling.com/Community/GivingBack.aspx.

About Sterling Bank

Sterling Savings Bank, the principal operating subsidiary of Sterling Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:STSA) of Spokane, Washington, is a Washington state chartered and federally insured commercial bank. Sterling Savings Bank does business as Sterling Bank and, in California, as Sonoma Bank and Borrego Springs Bank. Sterling offers banking products and services, mortgage lending, and trust and investment products to individuals, small businesses, corporations and other commercial organizations. As of March 31, 2013, Sterling had assets of $9.26 billion and operated depository branches in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and California. Visit Sterling's website at www.bankwithsterling.com.

Sterling Bank
Media Contact:
Cara L. Coon, 509-626-5348
cara.coon@bankwithsterling.com
or
Investor Contact:
Patrick Rusnak, 509-227-0961
patrick.rusnak@bankwithsterling.com

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