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Press release from Business Wire

Sterling Bank Leads SBA Lending among Washington State and Oregon Community Banks

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Sterling Bank Leads SBA Lending among Washington State and Oregon Community Banks

17:00 EDT Thursday, May 30, 2013

SPOKANE, Wash. (Business Wire) -- According to a recent report released by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Sterling Bank, a subsidiary of Sterling Financial Corporation (NASDAQ: STSA), has been recognized as the community bank leader of SBA lending in Washington and Oregon in the first quarter of 2013. Sterling Bank provided nine SBA-approved loans, lending nearly $5 million to small businesses throughout Washington and nine SBA-approved loans totaling $19.3 million in Oregon. Sterling Bank provided 61 SBA loans totaling approximately $49 million across its footprint in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and California.

“As a community bank, Sterling Bank prides itself on our commitment to our customers in helping them grow and prosper,” says Ezra Eckhardt, president and COO for Sterling Bank. “The success of our business customers in turn makes our communities stronger and more vibrant.”

Sterling Bank is designated as a Preferred Lender in the SBA's Preferred Lender Program (PLP), giving Sterling the authorization to make lending decisions on behalf of the SBA. Being a Preferred Lender reflects that the bank's business customers receive superior SBA knowledge and expertise in addition to a streamlined SBA loan-approval process.

For more information about Sterling Bank and its SBA loans, visit its website at www.bankwithsterling.com/Products/Business/SBALoans.

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, 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
Cara L. Coon, 509-626-5348
cara.coon@bankwithsterling.com

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