Sterling Financial Corporation of Spokane, Wash., Announces

  Sterling Financial Corporation of Spokane, Wash., Announces Appointment of
  David S. DePillo as Chief Credit Officer of Sterling Savings Bank

Business Wire

SPOKANE, Wash. -- October 26, 2010

Sterling Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:STSA), (“Sterling”), the bank holding
company of Sterling Savings Bank, announced today that it has received
regulatory approval for David S. DePillo to become chief credit officer of
Sterling Savings Bank.

"David DePillo’s expertise in resolving non-performing assets and portfolio
restructuring will provide additional expertise in the newly recapitalized
Sterling Savings Bank," said Greg Seibly, president and chief executive
officer of Sterling Financial Corporation. “David is well-regarded within the
financial industry and is knowledgeable about our loan portfolio, having
served in an advisory capacity in that regard.”

DePillo said, “I am ready to formally join the Sterling management team and to
contribute to the momentum of its regional franchise going forward.”

DePillo has more than 25 years of financial management, banking and investment
experience. He most recently served as the vice chairman of the board of
Fremont General Corporation (FGC) of Anaheim Hills, Calif., a financial
services holding company, and of Fremont Investment & Loan, its wholly owned
bank subsidiary. From November of 2007 to September 2009, he was the president
of both companies.

Prior to his affiliation with FGC, he was one of the founding stockholders of
Commercial Capital Bancorp Inc. (CCBI), and served as its vice chairman,
president and chief operating officer from 1999 through 2006, and as the vice
chairman, president and chief operating officer of CCBI's subsidiary
companies. At CCBI, he led an operations team that integrated several
acquisitions and developed one of the largest multi-family and commercial real
estate lending platforms in the western United States.

From 1991 to 1998, DePillo served as the first vice president and director of
multifamily banking for Home Savings of America, and as the president and
chief operating officer for its real estate development subsidiaries and for
H.F. Ahmanson & Co., its thrift holding company. In that capacity, he
restructured a multi-billion-dollar, nationwide real estate development
portfolio. At that time, the firm's multi-family lending operation was the
largest in the United States.

Previously, DePillo served as senior vice president and director of asset
management at Coast Federal Bank, a savings institution, and as president of
its mortgage banking subsidiary. From 1985 to 1987, DePillo was a certified
public accountant with KPMG LLP, an accounting firm.

About Sterling Financial Corporation

Sterling Financial Corporation of Spokane, Wash., is the bank holding company
for Sterling Savings Bank, a commercial bank. The bank is state chartered and
federally insured. Sterling offers banking products and services, mortgage
lending, construction financing and investment products to individuals, small
businesses, commercial organizations and corporations. As of Sept. 30, 2010,
Sterling Financial Corporation had assets of $10.03 billion and operated 178
depository branches throughout Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and
California. Visit Sterling’s website at

Sterling Savings Bank ranked “Highest Customer Satisfaction with Retail
Banking in the Northwest Region” in the J.D. Power and Associates 2010 Retail
Banking Satisfaction Study.℠ Sterling Savings Bank received the highest
numerical score among retail banks in the Northwest region in the proprietary
J.D. Power and Associates 2010 Retail Banking Satisfaction Study℠. The study
was based on 47,673 total responses measuring 6 providers in the Northwest
Region (OR, WA) and measures opinions of consumers with their primary banking
provider. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions
of consumers surveyed in January 2010. Your experiences may vary. Visit

Forward-Looking Statements

This release contains forward-looking statements that are not historical facts
and that are intended to be covered by the safe harbor for “forward-looking
statements” provided by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.
These forward-looking statements may include, but are not limited to,
statements about Sterling’s plans, objectives, expectations, strategy and
intentions and other statements contained in this release that are not
historical facts and pertain to Sterling’s future operating results and
capital position, including Sterling’s ability to complete recovery plans, and
Sterling’s ability to reduce future loan losses, improve its deposit mix,
execute its asset resolution initiatives, execute its lending initiatives,
contain costs, realize operating efficiencies and provide increased customer
support and service. When used in this release, the words “expects,”
“anticipates,” “intends,” “plans,” “believes,” “seeks,” “estimates” and
similar expressions are generally intended to identify forward-looking
statements. Actual results may differ materially from the results discussed in
these forward-looking statements because such statements are inherently
subject to significant assumptions, risks and uncertainties, many of which are
difficult to predict and are generally beyond Sterling’s control. These
include but are not limited to: Sterling’s ability to complete the
transactions discussed herein, future contemplated capital raises and other
aspects of its recapitalization and recovery plans; Sterling’s ability to
maintain adequate liquidity, avoid receivership for its banking subsidiaries
and its viability as a going concern; the possibility of continued adverse
economic developments that may, among other things, increase default and
delinquency risks in Sterling’s loan portfolios; shifts in interest rates that
may result in lower interest rate margins; shifts in the demand for Sterling’s
loan and other products; changes in accounting policies; changes in the
monetary and fiscal policies of the federal government; changes in laws,
regulations and the competitive environment; and Sterling’s ability to comply
with regulatory actions and agreements. Other factors that could cause actual
conditions, events or results to differ significantly from those described in
the forward-looking statements may be found under the headings “Risk Factors”
and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results
of Operations” in Sterling’s Annual Report on Form 10-K, as updated
periodically in Sterling’s filings with the Securities and Exchange
Commission. Unless legally required, Sterling disclaims any obligation to
update any forward-looking statements.


Sterling Financial Corporation
Media contact:
Cara L. Coon, 509-626-5348
Investor contact:
Daniel G. Byrne, 509-458-3711
David Brukardt, 509-863-5423
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.