U.S. SBA Recognizes Banner Bank as Top Regional Bank Lender to Small Businesses in Seattle District

SEATTLE, June 4, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Banner Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of Banner Corporation (Nasdaq:BANR), received top honors at the Small Business Administration's (SBA) 14th annual Small Business Awards Gala. The SBA Seattle district office awarded Banner Bank "Top Regional Lender of the Year." This is the third consecutive year Banner was recognized as the top lender in its category.

Each year the SBA Seattle district office leadership, which serves Washington State and Northern Idaho, evaluates bank nominees on loan data from the prior fiscal year. Banner was the top regional bank lender in the district based on the number and total dollar amount of SBA 7(a) and 504 loans made. This is the first year Banner was recognized in the regional bank category due to an expansion of bank categories that support SBA loan programs.

"We are honored to be recognized by the Small Business Administration Seattle district office for a third consecutive year," said Mark Grescovich, president and chief executive officer for Banner Bank. "Banner's SBA lending program, led by Walter McLaughlin, continues to grow year over year and further demonstrates the successful execution of our strategic plan. Supporting entrepreneurs throughout the Pacific Northwest strengthens the communities we serve, which is a core focus for all of us at Banner."

Banner Bank's SBA lending experts are located throughout the bank's footprint in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. Banner's relationship managers build long-lasting relationships using a needs-based approach to deliver tailored solutions.


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Additional quote from SBA:

"The SBA Seattle district office presents the lender awards to recognize top performing participating lending partners for their efforts in delivering the SBA loan programs to our small business community. This is the third consecutive year Banner Bank has been recognized proving their ongoing commitment to the economic growth of small businesses in our state." — Mark Costello, supervisory lender relations specialist, U.S. Small Business Administration Seattle district office

About Banner Bank

Banner Bank is a Washington-chartered commercial bank that conducts business from more than 100 locations in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. Banner Bank offers a wide variety of commercial banking services and financial products to individuals and small and medium-sized businesses and their employees throughout the Pacific Northwest. Visit Banner Bank at www.bannerbank.com.

About Banner Corporation

Banner Corporation (Nasdaq:BANR) is a $5.2 billion bank holding company operating two commercial banks in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. Banner serves the Pacific Northwest region through a network of 103 branches with a full range of deposit services and business, commercial real estate, construction, residential, agricultural and consumer loans. Learn more about Banner by visiting www.bannerbank.com/our-values

CONTACT: Dianne Larsen, Sr. Vice President, Director of Marketing dlarsen@bannerbank.comSource:Banner Corporation