Monarch Financial Holdings Earns Sandler O'Neill's Sm-All Star Award for Financial Performance

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CHESAPEAKE, Va., Sept. 25, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Monarch Financial Holdings, Inc., parent of Monarch Bank, (Nasdaq:MNRK) announced it has been named one of the top performing small capitalization banks in the nation by investment banking firm Sandler O'Neill. Sandler O'Neill & Partners is a New York-based investment banking and advisory firm that specializes in financial institutions.

In its "Class of 2013 Bank and Thrift Sm-All Stars" report, Sandler O'Neill recognized the 31 best performing small-capitalization institutions among a field of 450 publicly traded banks and thrifts in the U.S. with market capitalization less than $2.5 billion. This was the third time Monarch has been recognized with this award since 2007, and places Monarch in the top 7% of banks nationwide in terms of performance.

"Inclusion among the top banks in the country validates our growth strategy and strategic plan. We were one of only two banks in Virginia recognized this year, and the only bank serving the Hampton Roads and Outer Banks markets to make the cut," stated Brad E. Schwartz, Chief Executive Officer. "Our commitment to sound banking practices, aided by a strong year for mortgage banking, resulted in record profits in 2012 that led to this recognition."

Inclusion as a Sm-All Star was based on the company's absolute performance in each of eight financial variables. To assess fundamental momentum in the evaluation, growth trends in (1) Earnings per share, (2) Loans and (3) Deposits were evaluated. As a measure of profitability, (4) Return on average equity was included. In terms of asset quality, (5) Nonperforming assets to loans plus OREO ratio and the (6) Net charge-off ratio were analyzed. Finally, (7) Loan loss reserves to nonperforming assets ratio, and the (8) Tier 1 risk based capital ratio were evaluated as an indication of capital levels. Overall those banks recognized delivered better bottom line results that are markedly better than the industry as a whole.

Monarch Financial Holdings, Inc. is the one-bank holding company for Monarch Bank. Monarch Bank is a community bank with twelve offices in Chesapeake, Norfolk, Suffolk, Virginia Beach, Newport News and Williamsburg, Virginia. OBX Bank, a division of Monarch Bank, operates offices in Kitty Hawk and Nags Head, North Carolina. Monarch Mortgage and our affiliated mortgage companies have thirty offices with locations in Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, and South Carolina. Our subsidiaries/divisions include Monarch Bank, Monarch Bank Private Wealth (Private banking, trust and investments), OBX Bank, Monarch Mortgage (secondary mortgage origination), Coastal Home Mortgage, LLC (secondary mortgage origination), Regional Home Mortgage, LLC (secondary mortgage origination), Monarch Home Funding, LLC (secondary mortgage origination), Monarch Investments (investment and insurance solutions), Real Estate Security Agency, LLC (title agency) and Monarch Capital, LLC (commercial mortgage brokerage). The shares of common stock of Monarch Financial Holdings, Inc. are publicly traded on the NASDAQ Capital Market under the symbol MNRK.

This press release may contain "forward-looking statements," within the meaning of federal securities laws that involve significant risks and uncertainties. Statements herein are based on certain assumptions and analyses by the Company and are factors it believes are appropriate in the circumstances. Actual results could differ materially from those contained in or implied by such statements for a variety of reasons including, but not limited to: changes in interest rates; changes in accounting principles, policies, or guidelines; significant changes in the economic scenario: significant changes in regulatory requirements; and significant changes in securities markets. Consequently, all forward-looking statements made herein are qualified by these cautionary statements and the cautionary language in the Company's most recent Form 10-K and 10-Q reports and other documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company does not undertake to update forward-looking statements to reflect circumstances or events that occur after the date the forward-looking statements are made.

CONTACT: For Media Inquiries: Brad E. Schwartz, Chief Executive Officer Monarch Bank (757) 389-5111

Source:Monarch Financial Holdings, Inc.