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ICBA, Member Banks Celebrate Community Banking Month

Community Service and Financial Literacy Highlighted

Washington, D.C. (April 1, 2008)—April is Community Banking Month, and members of the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) and affiliated state and regional community banking associations across the country are celebrating the unique spirit that makes independent community banks the foundation of their communities.

"Our community banks are passionately committed to serving their customers and their communities," said Cynthia L. Blankenship, ICBA chairman and vice chairman and chief operating officer of Bank of the West, Irving, Texas. "They spend countless amounts of time and resources throughout the year making their communities better places to live while offering quality financial products and services to their customers. ICBA Community Banking Month is our time to thank our customers and to celebrate our communities."

Thousands of community banks participate in this annual celebration of community banking. Whether they host special events with local charities, promote economic development, offer programs to boost financial literacy, serve their customers refreshments or offer free car washes at the local drive-through, community banks ensure that their customers and their community are the center of attention.

During Community Banking Month, community service and financial literacy programs take center stage. In Apple River, Ill. Apple River State Bank, a $200 million-asset community bank, led the effort to build a new fire station and community center. In Redlands, Calif., 1st Centennial Bank developed a financial literacy program to provide age-and-grade-level appropriate education that is practical, interactive, and strengthens decision-making and problem-solving skills. In Euka, Miss, First American National Bank took a leadership role in pulling together and implementing a comprehensive economic development program to restore manufacturing jobs that had been lost.

"Community banks are an integral part of the economic, financial and civic fabric of thousands of towns and cities across America," said Blankenship. "They work hard to improve the quality of life in their communities because they are part of their community. That's what makes community banks special."

ICBA member community banks employ 282,000 people in 20,350 locations in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and two U.S. territories. Of the 8,300 community banks in America, nearly 5,000 are members of ICBA including 700 publicly traded community banks.

Learn more about community banking and Community Banking Month at www.icba.org.