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ICBA Capital Markets Symposium Links Community Bankers with Investors

Orlando, Fla. (March 4, 2008)—During an Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) Capital Markets Symposium, major investors and investment bankers met to discuss investment opportunities with some of the nation's leading and most progressive community banks. More than 100 people attended the symposium, which was held as part of the week-long ICBA National Convention and Techworld in Orlando, Fla.

Hosted by ICBA Securities Capital Markets and Howe Barnes Hoefer & Arnett Inc., a Chicago-based full-service investment firm making markets in more than 500 community bank stocks, the symposium focused on building shareholder value for publicly traded and privately held community banks.

"Investment in community banks provides long-term value. Community banks are well-capitalized and closely regulated institutions with a tremendous franchise value," said Marti Rodamaker, chairman of ICBA Services Network and president of First Citizens National Bank, Mason City, Iowa. "This event is an opportunity to connect our community bankers directly with analysts and investors."

"To find long-term value, investors must focus on community banks with talented management teams, healthy capital positions, strong credit quality, and attractive franchises that offer a competitive advantage through product and service differentiation," said Bill Sammon, director of ICBA Securities Capital Markets. "Particularly in the current environment, a number of our member community banks have excellent value and are especially attractive for long-term investment."

For additional information about ICBA's capital markets program, go to www.icbasecurities.com.