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COLUMBIA BANK EXPANDS TO FIRCREST; NEW BRANCH OPENING SET FOR MONDAY, SEPT. 20

 TACOMA, Wash., Sept. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Following in the footsteps of Columbia Bank's opening in downtown Tacoma just five weeks ago, the bank announced today the second Tacoma-area branch of Columbia Bank will open at 9 a.m., Monday, Sept. 20, in Fircrest.
 Located at 2401 Mildred St. W. (corner of Mildred and Regents), a temporary modular facility has been constructed on the former site of Summer Sands Restaurant. A permanent office will be completed at this site by year's end.
 The branch, managed by long-time Tacoma banker, Gene Horan, will initially employ nine people.
 "We're looking forward to meeting the demands for customer-oriented, full-service banking in Fircrest/University Place," said Horan. "Since the announcement several months ago that Fircrest was to be Columbia Bank's first additional Tacoma-area branch, the excitement in the community has been building."
 A full range of products and services will be available, including drive-through banking, a night depository and an ATM machine.
 The addition of two more Tacoma-area branches are planned by Jan. 1; 19th and Union, and Lakewood. Columbia Bank plans to add up to seven Pierce County branches within two years.
 Columbia Banking System Inc. (NASDAQ: COLB) earlier this week announced plans to convert three Longview-area savings bank branches to commercial bank branches in the first quarter of 1994. Columbia Bank currently operates a commercial bank branch at 1315 14th Ave. in Longview, in addition to its downtown Tacoma main office at 11th and Broadway.
 The Fircrest address is 2401 Mildred St. W., Tacoma, WA 98466. The phone number is 206-566-1172. Banking hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday (drive-through open until 6 p.m.); 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday; and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.
 -0- 9/16/93
 /CONTACT: Kristen Kopay of Columbia Bank, 206-305-1900; or Mark Dyce of Kobasic Fine Hadley, 206-623-7725 or 206-860-7524, for Columbia Bank/
 (COLB)


CO: Columbia Bank ST: Washington IN: FIN SU:

JH-IC -- SE008 -- 2792 09/16/93 15:52 EDT
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Date:Sep 16, 1993
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