updated 9/3/2010 5:45:35 AM ET 2010-09-03T09:45:35

Bryan McDonald Promoted to Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

George Bowen Promoted to Commercial Banking Manager

OAK HARBOR, Wash., Sept. 2, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Whidbey Island Bank announced today that Bryan McDonald has been promoted to Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for the bank. McDonald has been serving in the capacity of Senior Vice President and Commercial Banking Manager since 2006, recently taking on the functions of Chief Operating Officer. In his expanded role at Whidbey Island Bank, McDonald will be responsible for the Retail, Real Estate, Operations Administration, and Commercial Banking divisions.

Photos accompanying this release are available at

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In addition, George Bowen was promoted to the senior management position of Commercial Banking Manager. Bowen will be responsible for the strategic oversight and supervision of Whidbey Island Bank's five regional commercial lending teams. 

"It's a privilege to promote bankers the caliber of Bryan and George," states Jack Wagner, President and CEO of Whidbey Island Bank. "Bryan has been instrumental in the recent growth of Whidbey Island Bank. His contributions over the last few years directly correlate to our organic growth as well as the acquisition of City Bank of Lynnwood in April, in preparation and execution. George recently joined us, bringing with him a particularly strong reputation for impeccable customer relationship skills, and a proven track record in sales management. I am pleased to be able to draw on George Bowen's talent and experience to continue Bryan McDonald's track record in commercial banking management. For Whidbey Island Bank, the promotion of Bryan and George expands the depth and knowledge-base of our executive and senior management teams, leaving us well-prepared for the future."

Bryan McDonald has been in the banking industry since 1994, serving in regional commercial lending management roles since 1996 for Washington Mutual and Peoples Bank. McDonald joined Whidbey Island Bank in 2006, as Commercial Banking Manager. George Bowen brings over 39 years of banking experience to his new position, most recently serving as Chief Lending Officer/EVP at Peoples Bank in Bellingham.

Whidbey Island Bank is a full-service bank, serving local Northwest communities in 26 locations across King, Island, San Juan, Skagit, Whatcom and Snohomish counties. The bank was established in 1961 to provide high-quality lending, deposit, transaction and investment services to individuals and businesses. The bank is a subsidiary of Washington Banking Company (Nasdaq:WBCO).

This news release may contain forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties. These forward-looking statements describe management's expectations regarding future events and developments such as the transition of City Bank operations, employees and customers, future operating results, BOLI contributions to revenue, availability of acquisition opportunities, growth in loans and deposits, credit quality and loan losses, and continued success of the Company's business plan. Readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which reflect management's views only as of the date hereof. The words "anticipate," "expect," "will," "believe," and words of similar meaning are intended, in part, to help identify forward-looking statements. Future events are difficult to predict, and the expectations described above are subject to risk and uncertainty that may cause actual results to differ materially. In addition to discussions about risks and uncertainties set forth from time to time in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in these forward-looking statements include, among others: (1) local and national general and economic condition; (2) changes in interest rates and their impact on net interest margin; (3) competition among financial institutions; (4) legislation or regulatory requirements; (5) the ability to realize the efficiencies expected from investment in personnel and infrastructure; and (6) the inability to retain City Bank customers or employees and expenses associated with the integration of acquired City Bank operations. Washington Banking Company does not undertake to update forward-looking statements to reflect circumstances or events that occur after the date the forward-looking statements were made. Any such statements are made in reliance on the safe harbor protections provided under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended.

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