updated 12/15/2010 12:46:58 PM ET 2010-12-15T17:46:58

BELLEVUE, Wash., Dec. 15, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Puget Sound Bank (OTCBB:PUGB), announced today it has been awarded the 5-Star rating from BauerFinancial, Inc., an independent banking rating service. Five stars is BauerFinancial's highest rating available, indicating a "Superior" performance, based on capital strength, asset quality and profitability, to name just a few.

BauerFinancial is an independent rating agency that has been reporting on and analyzing the performance of U.S. banks since 1983. The agency collects quarterly data on banks and financial institutions and ranks them based on specific criteria centered on safety and soundness. No institution can pay to be put on the list, nor can it choose to be excluded. The latest data is based on Puget Sound's financial filings at September 30, 2010, and is listed on BauerFinancial's website at www.bauerfinancial.com.

"We are honored to be recognized and recommended by this well-respected, independent source," said Jim Mitchell, President and Chief Executive Officer. "Moving up to the top tier of their ranking system is an accomplishment that reflects the hard work of all our team members and board of directors. This superior rating is a testament to Puget Sound Bank's strength and stability."

"The staff and management of Puget Sound Bank should be very proud to work for such a strong financial institution," notes Karen L. Dorway, president of the research firm. "Often the general public does not know the financial strengths or weaknesses of their bank, so BauerFinancial's highest rating helps to assure customers and the community that they are dealing with a strong financial institution that will be able to fulfill their banking needs for years to come."

Puget Sound Bank recently reported profits for the first nine months of 2010 of almost $1 million, which was more than double its profits for the full year of 2009. These profitable results were highlighted by continued strong capital ratios, solid credit quality and robust core deposit growth.  Capital ratios exceeded regulatory requirements for a well-capitalized financial institution with Total Risk-based Capital Ratio of 15.26%. To be considered "well-capitalized" a bank must have over a 10% Total Risk-based Capital.

About Puget Sound Bank

Puget Sound Bank is a locally-owned and operated commercial bank proudly serving the greater Puget Sound region. Puget Sound Bank has a 5-Star Superior rating from Bauer Financial Inc. Based out of Bellevue, Washington, the bank was founded to meet the specialized needs of small and medium-sized businesses, commercial real estate projects, professionals and individuals seeking a higher level of service in the Puget Sound region. Staffed by the most experienced, customer-oriented banking professionals in the region, Puget Sound Bank offers a full range of competitive financial products with superior customer service and a consultative/partnership approach to its clients. Puget Sound Bank provides online banking at www.pugetsoundbank.com and has access to a large branch network in the state of Washington. The bank can also provide remote capture technology which allows its clients to make deposits from their offices. Puget Sound Bank is located at 10500 NE 8th Street, Suite 1500, Bellevue, Washington. For more information, please call 425-455-2400.

CONTACT:  Puget Sound Bank
          Jim Mitchell, President & CEO
          (425) 455-2400

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