updated 4/8/2011 3:18:19 PM ET 2011-04-08T19:18:19

OAK HARBOR, Wash., April 8, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Washington Banking Company (Nasdaq:WBCO), the holding company for Whidbey Island Bank, today announced that it was named to the SNL Financial Top 100 Best-Performing Community Banks in 2010. WBCO ranked 75th in the nation and was the only company headquartered in Washington State to make the elite list.

"We are honored to be included as one of the best performing community banks in the nation; and are gratified to be acknowledged as the only company to qualify from the Pacific Northwest," said Jack Wagner, President and Chief Executive Officer. "SNL Financial is one of the most well-respected sources for community banking news and information, and our placement on their best performing list reflects the hard work of all of our team members."

To compile the rankings, SNL defined community banks as institutions with assets between $500 million and $5 billion and 60 or fewer offices.  Banks were scored on profitability, asset quality, loan growth and capital strength.  All metrics were weighted equally. The following table reflects the scoring metrics for the top 5 banks and Washington Banking. 

      Scoring Metrics  
Rank Company State  ROATA

before

tax (%)
NCOs/

Avg

Loans (%)
Adjusted

NPL/ Total

Loans (%)
Oper Exp/

Oper Rev

(%)
Net

Interest

Margin

(FTE) (%)
Loan

Growth

Rate (%)
Total

Assets

($000)
1 Weststar Bank Holding Company, Inc. TX 2.20 0.05 1.42 50.44 4.75 9.65 880,986
2 Independence Bancshares, Incorporated KY 1.89 0.11 0.46 54.46 4.37 9.02 1,000,540
3 Northern Bancorp, Inc. MA 1.67 0.01 1.40 52.78 4.66 13.84 670,070
4 First National Bank of Central Texas TX 1.79 0.01 0.15 55.00 4.11 12.77 562,469
5 North Jersey Community Bank NJ 1.43 0.06 0.82 54.34 4.30 24.20 602,126
75 Washington Banking Company WA 2.57 0.89 5.23 48.46 5.03 48.45 1,705,615

The full table can be found at www.wibank.com. SNL ranked companies at the bank holding company level if consolidated data was reported.  Otherwise, commercial bank subsidiary data was used.  Additionally, banks with a majority of revenue derived from nontraditional banking activities were not included.  Based on the above criteria, 764 companies were eligible for the rankings.

ABOUT SNL FINANCIAL

SNL Financial is the premier provider of breaking news, financial data and expert analysis on the business sectors critical to the global economy: Banking, Insurance, Financial Services, Real Estate, Energy and Media & Communications. SNL's information service provides investment professionals with access to an in-depth electronic database. 

Leading investment banks, investment managers, corporate executives, ratings agencies, government agencies, consulting firms, law firms and media such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Washington Post, Forbes and Fortune rely on SNL Financial for the best possible information on the companies in their sectors.

ABOUT WASHINGTON BANKING COMPANY

Washington Banking Company is a bank holding company based in Oak Harbor, Washington, that operates Whidbey Island Bank, a state-chartered full-service commercial bank.  Founded in 1961, Whidbey Island Bank provides various deposit, loan and investment services to meet customers' financial needs.  With its two FDIC-assisted acquisitions in 2010, Whidbey Island Bank currently operates 30 full-service branches located in six counties in Northwestern Washington. In June 2009, Washington Banking was added to the Russell 2000 Index, a subset of the Russell 3000 Index. Both indices are widely used by professional money managers as benchmarks for investment strategies. Washington Banking was the only company in the Pacific Northwest ranked in the top 100 best performing community banks between $500 million and $5 billion in assets, by SNL Financial in 2010.

www.wibank.com

CONTACT: Jack Wagner - President & CEO
         Rick Shields - EVP & Chief Financial Officer
         360.679.3121

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