Forbes Ranks Columbia Bank as Best in Washington State

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Forbes list of “America’s Best and Worst Banks” places Tacoma-based Columbia Bank

as best in Washington state and second in the Northwest

Columbia Bank has been ranked as the best bank headquartered in Washington state by the Forbes list of America’s Best and Worst Banks. Listed at No. 34, Columbia Bank also slides in ahead of Key Bank, Chase, US Bank and Bank of America. The list, ranking 100 of the largest publicly traded banks in the country, also placed Columbia Bank as the second best headquartered in the Pacific Northwest.

“We are pleased to see Columbia Bank rank so highly among Northwest banks,” said Melanie Dressel, President and Chief Executive Officer of Tacoma-based Columbia Bank and its parent company, Columbia Banking System, Inc. “We remain committed to providing Northwest businesses and individuals with a strong, secure and customer focused community bank option.”

Data for the list was provided by financial data provider, SNL Financial and was based on regulatory filings of public banks and thrifts as of Thursday, December 1, 2011. The study gauged the health of the 100 largest publicly traded banks and thrifts based on eight key financial metrics including: return on average equity; net interest margin; nonperforming loans (NPLs) as a percentage of loans; nonperforming assets as percentage of assets; reserves as a percentage of NPLs; two capital ratios (Tier 1 and risk-based); and leverage ratio.

Columbia Bank ranked No. 34 overall with total assets at $5 billion, 6.4 percent return on average equity, 2.5 percent nonperforming loans/total loans, 84 percent in reserves/nonperforming loans, a 20.6 percent tier one ratio, and a 12.9 percent leverage ratio. To view the complete list and further details on the study click here.

About Columbia Bank

Headquartered in Tacoma, Washington, Columbia Banking System, Inc. is the holding company of Columbia State Bank, a Washington state-chartered full-service commercial bank which was awarded third place in the large employer category by Seattle Business Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For 2011 and was designated one of Puget Sound Business Journal’s “Washington’s Best Workplaces 2011”.

With the recent FDIC-assisted acquisitions of Bank of Whitman, First Heritage Bank, and Summit Bank, Columbia Bank has 102 banking offices, including 77 branches in Washington State and 25 branches in Oregon. Columbia Bank does business under the Bank of Astoria name in Astoria, Warrenton, Seaside, Cannon Beach, Manzanita and Tillamook in Oregon. More information about Columbia can be found on its website at www.columbiabank.com.

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