Center Bancorp, Inc. Named to KBW 2012 Bank Honor Roll Award Winners

Center Bancorp, Inc. Named to KBW 2012 Bank Honor Roll Award Winners

UNION, N.J., April 18, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Center Bancorp, Inc.
(Nasdaq:CNBC) (the "Company," or "Center"), parent company of Union Center
National Bank ("UCNB" or "the Bank"), announces that it has been included in
the KBW Bank Honor Role for 2012. Honor Roll winners as defined by KBW are
publicly traded banking institutions with more than $500 million in total
assets that meet the following three conditions:

  oNo annual loss reported in net income per share before extraordinary items
    over the past 10 years;
  o2012 annual reported net income per share before extraordinary items equal
    to or greater than peak net income per share over the past 10 years; and
  oConsecutive increases in net income per share before extraordinary items
    since 2009.

KBW found that 47 banking institutions, out of nearly 400 total companies
screened, now qualify for inclusion on the KBW Bank Honor Roll; up from 45
institutions in the prior year.

"The Bank Honor Roll is a way for KBW to acknowledge companies that have
managed to successfully navigate a variety of obstacles as they have arisen,
despite difficult conditions in what remains a rate-challenged environment,"
noted Frederick Cannon, KBW Director of Research. "Despite 2012's uneven
economic recovery and fiscal uncertainty, these Honor Roll banks managed to
post healthier balance sheets through active liability management and also
benefited from improving fundamentals as credit quality significantly
improved."

This recognition follows a string of recognitions for the Company as
previously reported. "Entering our ninetieth year of operation, and achieving
this success is another proud milestone for Center and a reflection of the
hard work of our management team," said Anthony C. Weagley, President & CEO.
"The basis of good performance is core and consistent earnings. This trend
reflects continued financial and operational momentum, and speaks to the
quality of the organization; specifically our focus on consistently building
shareholder value. This recognition by KBW acknowledges the Bank's consistent
focus on performance."

About Center Bancorp

Center Bancorp, Inc. is a bank holding company, which operates Union Center
National Bank, its main subsidiary. Chartered in 1923, Union Center National
Bank is one of the oldest national banks headquartered in the state of New
Jersey and now ranks as the third largest national bank headquartered in the
state.Union Center National Bank is currently the largest commercial bank
headquartered in Union County. Its primary market niche is its commercial
banking business. The Bank focuses its lending activities on commercial
lending to small- and medium-sized businesses, real estate developers and high
net worth individuals.

The Bank, through its Private Banking and Wealth Management Division, which
includes its wholly-owned subsidiary, Center Financial Group LLC, provides
personalized wealth management and advisory services to high net worth
individuals and families. Our services include banking, liquidity management,
investment services, custody, tailored lending, wealth planning, trust and
fiduciary services, insurance, family wealth advisory services and
philanthropic advisory services.The Bank, through a strategic partnership
between the Bank's Private Banking Division and Alexander, Troy & Company
("AT&CO."), Family Office Services, of Katonah, New York, provides customized
financial and administrative services to high-net worth individuals.

Center also through a strategic partnership with Compass Financial Management,
LLC and ING offers pension/401(k) planning services.Compass is an Investment
Advisory Company with five decades of cumulative experience providing
investment services in a personal, professional and attentive manner.They
provide discretionary private investment management for individuals and
corporate accounts as well as 401(k) advisory services.

The Bank currently operates 15 banking locations in Union, Morris and Bergen
Counties in New Jersey. Banking centers are located in Union Township (5
locations), Berkeley Heights, Boonton/Mountain Lakes,Englewood, Madison,
Millburn/Vauxhall, Morristown, Oakland, Saddle River, Springfield, and Summit,
New Jersey. Center filed an application in March 2013 with the Office of the
Comptroller of the Currency to open a Private Banking and Loan Production
Office in Princeton, NJ. The Bank's primary market area is comprised of Union,
Morris and Bergen Counties, New Jersey.

For further information regarding Center Bancorp, Inc., please visit our web
site at http://www.centerbancorp.com or call (800) 862-3683. For information
regarding Union Center National Bank, please visit our web site at
www.ucnb.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

All non-historical statements in this press release constitute forward-looking
statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act
of 1995. These forward-looking statements may use forward-looking terminology
such as "expect," "look," "believe," "plan," "anticipate," "may," "will" or
similar statements or variations of such terms or otherwise express views
concerning trends and the future. Such forward-looking statements involve
certain risks and uncertainties. These include, but are not limited to, the
direction of interest rates, continued levels of loan quality and origination
volume, Center Bancorp's ability to integrate Saddle River Valley Bank's
branches into Center Bancorp's branch network, continued relationships with
major customers including sources for loans, as well as the effects of
international, national, regional and local economic conditions and legal and
regulatory barriers and structure, including those relating to economic
recovery and the deregulation of the financial services industry, and other
risks cited in the Corporation's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and
other reports filed by the Corporation with the Securities and Exchange
Commission. Actual results may differ materially from such forward-looking
statements. Center Bancorp, Inc. assumes no obligation for updating any such
forward-looking statement at any time.

CONTACT: Investor Inquiries:
         Joseph Gangemi
         Senior Vice President
         Investor Relations
         908.206.2863

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