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ICBA Announces First Completed Investment of Private Equity Fund in Memphis-based Community Bank

Washington, D.C. (Feb. 15, 2007)—ICBA Securities Inc., the member-directed securities broker/dealer of the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA), today announced the first investment by ICBA Capital Markets' Private Equity Fund I, L.L.L.P. The investment, made in Paragon National Bank in Memphis, Tenn., is the first of its kind to be made by the fund, formed in October of 2006 to invest exclusively in community bank growth and development across the country.

"Paragon, an ICBA member bank since its formation in 2005, is an excellent example of a fast-growing community bank that needs to expand its services to meet the rising demand of its market," said Jim Reber, CEO of ICBA Securities. "The Fund's investment in Paragon is the first of a number of opportunities that the Fund will have to support the growth of ICBA members and promote the stability of community banking."

Managed by ICBA Securities Capital Markets' partner Howe Barnes Hoefer & Arnett, the ICBA Capital Markets Private Equity Fund I, L.L.L.P. allows ICBA members and individuals affiliated with ICBA members to make aggregated investments in rapidly-growing community banks. The monies disbursed by the fund allow its recipient to build scale and drive stronger returns to its shareholders.

"With this landmark move, ICBA Securities is expanding access to capital markets services for all of the members of the ICBA," said Bill Sammon, director of capital markets for ICBA Securities. "This fund is not only an important tool in providing an investment alternative for those looking to tap the growth and expansion of community banking. It is also a way to ensure the future of community banks by providing a financing option dedicated exclusively to support their growth."

About ICBA Securities Capital Markets
ICBA Capital Markets, a division of ICBA Securities, is the capital markets services provider of the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA). ICBA Capital Markets - through Howe Barnes Investments - provides market-making, corporate finance, equity research, and access to capital for community bank growth and development. Visit www.icbasecurities.com.

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