updated 2/3/2011 8:16:42 AM ET 2011-02-03T13:16:42

WARSAW, Ind., Feb. 3, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Lake City Bank, the single bank subsidiary of Lakeland Financial Corporation (Nasdaq:LKFN), announced today that it will build a regional headquarters building in Indianapolis. The Company announced that construction will begin in mid-March at the northwest corner of 96th and Meridian Streets and is expected to be completed in October. The building will encompass 11,000 square feet, and will be home to the Company's existing Indianapolis commercial lending staff and provide direct access to every commercial and retail financial services product that the Bank offers. In addition, the building has been designed to specifications that the Company believes will qualify for LEED Silver certification and the Company will seek certification upon completion of the building.

Michael L. Kubacki, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "This office represents a significant commitment to the Indianapolis market and is reflective of the growth of our business in the market, especially on the commercial lending front. Since establishing our loan production office in Indianapolis in 2006, we believe that the business community has embraced Lake City Bank's community-oriented, relationship-based approach."

The office will eventually be home to more than 25 Indianapolis team members, including senior management of the Bank's Indianapolis Commercial Banking Department. The office will also be home to the market's Wealth Advisory, Honors Private Banking and Lake City Bank Investment and Brokerage teams. In addition, the commercial banking staff will provide direct access for clients to specialists in Commercial Treasury Management Services, Corporate Bond Administration, Retirement Services and Merchant Card Services.

Kubacki added, "We enter Indiana markets with a long term view, and expect this to be the first of many offices in the community. Our goal is to establish a base of operations upon which future market expansion can occur."

David M. Findlay, President, stated, "The banking landscape in Indiana has changed dramatically in recent years and we're pleased that the Indianapolis market has been receptive to our community-oriented style of banking. We're an Indiana bank serving Indiana clients and we're proud of our success in the Warsaw, Fort Wayne, South Bend, and Elkhart metropolitan areas. We recognize that no two customers have the same financial needs and know that customers don't appreciate a cookie cutter approach to serving them. As a result, the Lake City Bank team gets to know our clients personally and professionally."

Kubacki added, "We believe that we're in a unique position in Indianapolis to offer clients of all sizes the products and services of the larger regional and national competitors while maintaining the positive attributes of a locally-driven community bank. Our asset size of $2.7 billion puts us in a strong position to play an important role in the market. With the capability to lend up to $20 million, we are ready to provide capital to successful and growing companies in the Indianapolis market."

Findlay concluded, "The office will include nearly 2,000 square feet of meeting and social space designed to permit business partners and service organizations in the community to use the facility for local events. For over 138 years, we've been committed to partnerships in the communities we're lucky enough to serve and dedicating this type of space to the community in the office will further strengthen our ties to the Indianapolis area."

Lake City Bank was assisted in the site selection process by Indianapolis-based Hokanson Companies and is working with the Indianapolis and Fort Wayne staff of MSKTD Build to develop the facility.

Lakeland Financial Corporation is a $2.7 billion bank holding company headquartered in Warsaw, Indiana. Lake City Bank serves Northern Indiana with 43 branches located in the following Indiana counties: Kosciusko, Elkhart, Allen, St. Joseph, DeKalb, Fulton, Huntington, LaGrange, Marshall, Noble, Pulaski and Whitley. The Company also has a Loan Production Office in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Lakeland Financial Corporation may be accessed on its home page at www.lakecitybank.com . The Company's common stock is traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under "LKFN". Market makers in Lakeland Financial Corporation common shares include Automated Trading Desk Financial Services, LLC, B-Trade Services, LLC, Citadel Securities, LLC, Citigroup Global Markets Holdings, Inc., Domestic Securities, Inc., E*TRADE Capital Markets LLC, FTN Financial Securities Corp., FTN Equity Capital Markets Corp., Goldman Sachs & Company, Howe Barnes Hoefer & Arnett, Inc., Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, Inc., Knight Equity Markets, L.P., Morgan Stanley & Co., Inc., Stifel Nicolaus & Company, Inc., Susquehanna Capital Group and UBS Securities LLC.

This document contains, and future oral and written statements of the Company and its management may contain, forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 with respect to the financial condition, results of operations, plans, objectives, future performance and business of the Company. Forward-looking statements, which may be based upon beliefs, expectations and assumptions of the Company's management and on information currently available to management, are generally identifiable by the use of words such as "believe," "expect," "anticipate," "plan," "intend," "estimate," "may," "will," "would," "could," "should" or other similar expressions. Additionally, all statements in this document, including forward-looking statements, speak only as of the date they are made, and the Company undertakes no obligation to update any statement in light of new information or future events. Additional information concerning the Company and its business, including factors that could materially affect the Company's financial results, is included in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Company's Annual Report on form 10-K.

CONTACT: David M. Findlay
         President and
         Chief Financial Officer
         (574) 267-9197

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