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Press release from Business Wire

Sterling Bank Announced as a Top Community Bank Leader in Social Media

<p class='bwalignc'> <i>First-of-its-kind list from ICBA highlights 50 community banks excelling in social media</i> </p>

Monday, July 08, 2013

Sterling Bank Announced as a Top Community Bank Leader in Social Media

18:30 EDT Monday, July 08, 2013

SPOKANE, Wash. (Business Wire) -- In recognition of its social media efforts, Sterling Bank, the principal operating subsidiary of Sterling Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:STSA), has been named to the Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA) list of the Top 50 Community Bank Leaders in Social Media. The ranking, which is the first of its kind, highlights the community bank social media trailblazers among the financial industry.

“Congratulations to all the community banks and community bankers featured on ICBA's Top 50 Community Bank Leaders in Social Media and ICBA's Top 20 Community Banker Influencers on Twitter,” said Chris Lorence, ICBA's executive vice president and chief marketing officer. “Building a brand goes beyond a perceived geographical footprint; social media opens the doors of opportunity even wider for community banks. Consumers expect fresh content, insight and consistent interaction with brands they are connected to online, and community banks are no exception. ICBA is proud to highlight those community banks and bankers who are blazing a critical trail forward by making social media an integral part of their brand and communications strategy.”

Nearly 7,000 community banks throughout the nation were eligible for ICBA's list. Community banks were chosen based on their engagement with fans and followers, the content distributed on their social media platforms, the number of fans and/or followers they have, and the frequency of posting new content. Several of the community banks featured on ICBA's Top 50 Community Bank Leaders in Social Media will be profiled in September's issue of ICBA Independent Banker.

“Sterling Bank is pleased to be featured on ICBA's Top 50 Community Bank Leaders in Social Media list,” said Ezra Eckhardt, president and chief operating officer of Sterling Bank. “It is an honor for us to be one of just two Washington state headquartered community banks to be recognized for our social media efforts because we see it as a unique channel for communicating with our customers and strengthening ties with both our customers and the communities we serve.”

To view the entire 50 community banks on this list, visit www.icba.org/smleaders. For additional information about ICBA, visit www.icba.org.

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.

About ICBA

The Independent Community Bankers of America®, the nation's voice for nearly 7,000 community banks of all sizes and charter types, is dedicated exclusively to representing the interests of the community banking industry and its membership through effective advocacy, best-in-class education and high-quality products and services. For more information, visit www.icba.org.

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

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