updated 4/11/2011 12:16:59 PM ET 2011-04-11T16:16:59

OAK HARBOR, Wash., April 11, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Washington Banking Company (Nasdaq:WBCO), the holding company for Whidbey Island Bank, today announced that Keefe, Bruyette & Woods (KBW) has selected Washington Banking Company as one of only 40 institutions to qualify for inclusion in the 2010 Bank Honor Roll. KBW screened almost 400 companies and found only forty U.S. banking institutions that met the criteria for the 2010 Honor Roll. Banks were recognized for successfully navigating the financial crisis and generating a superior ten-year track record. 

"To be recognized on KBW's Bank Honor Roll for achieving superior performance over a ten-year period is extremely satisfying," said Jack Wagner, President and Chief Executive Officer.

KBW Honor Roll winners are publicly traded banking companies with at least $500 million in total assets that met the following three conditions:

  • No annual loss reported in net income per share before extraordinary items over the past 10 years.
  • 2010 annual reported net income per-share before extraordinary items must have been equal to or greater than peak net income per-share over the past 10 years.
  • Consecutive increases in net income per-share before extraordinary items since 2009.

"Banks that made the Honor Roll successfully navigated a variety of different and sometimes difficult operating environments which have included everything from deteriorating credit quality to inverted yield curves and rising unemployment," said John Duffy, KBW Chairman and CEO.

According to KBW, in terms of stock price performance, Bank Honor Roll companies significantly outperformed both the banking industry and the overall stock market during the five-year period between 2005 and 2010. The Honor Roll banks also meaningfully outperformed the S&P 500 (SPX) return of 0.1% over the equivalent time period.

ABOUT KEEFE, BRUYETTE & WOODS, INC. (KBW)

KBW operates in the U.S., Europe and Asia through its broker dealer subsidiaries, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, Inc., Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Limited and Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Asia Limited. It also offers asset management services through KBW Asset Management, Inc. Founded in 1962, the firm is widely recognized as a leading authority in the banking, insurance, brokerage, asset management, mortgage banking, real estate and specialty finance sectors. The firm has established industry-leading positions in the areas of research, corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions as well as sales and trading in equities of financial services companies.

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 that ranked in the top 100 best performing community banks between $500 million and $5 billion in assets by SNL Financial in 2010, and joined the Keefe, Bruyette &Woods 2010 Bank Honor Roll, based on its superior 10-year track record. 

www.wibank.com

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

© Copyright 2012, GlobeNewswire, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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