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COLUMBIA BANKING SYSTEM ANNOUNCES W.W. PHILIP TO HEAD PIERCE COUNTY EXPANSION

 BELLEVUE, Wash., March 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Arnold G. Espe, chairman of Columbia Banking System Inc. (NASDAQ: COLB), announced today that W.W. ("Bill") Philip, the recently retired chairman and chief executive officer of Puget Sound Bancorp, will become president and chief executive officer of a commercial bank being acquired by the company. Columbia Banking System Inc. is acquiring Columbia National Bankshares and its subsidiary commercial bank, Columbia National Bank in Longview. Columbia National Bank will operate under the Columbia Bank name and its headquarters will be relocated to Tacoma, Wash., in the near future.
 "We plan to invest substantial additional capital in the commercial bank so we can establish a significant presence in Pierce County as soon as possible," said Espe. "We are excited about the growth potential in Pierce County and are pleased Bill Philip will head our expansion effort. I have great respect for Bill. He is a proven and successful leader in the banking industry and the Tacoma/Pierce County area."
 "I am continuing my banking career because I see a demand for a service-oriented commercial bank headquartered in Tacoma," said Philip. "Puget Sound Bank's recent merger left the area with an obvious void in locally oriented banking. Because redevelopment in Tacoma is gathering momentum, it's timely to provide the community with a strongly capitalized commercial bank that understands the region's banking needs and is owned by local shareholders."
 Philip will serve on the board of Columbia Banking System, the holding company for Columbia Bank, FSB, a savings bank. "I am joining the Columbia Banking System team because they are well on their way to creating a financial institution that holds great promise," explained Philip. "I value Arne Espe's proven track record of building successful financial institutions.
 "We will establish broad branch coverage in the Tacoma/Pierce County area," said Philip. "Our goal is to utilize experienced management and operating personnel who are familiar with the market and its customers' desires. Several prominent Pierce County business and community leaders will be added to the commercial bank's board of directors in the coming months."
 Columbia Banking System's acquisition of Columbia Bank (Columbia National Bank) has been approved by both boards. "The transaction requires shareholder and regulatory approval and is expected to close by mid-year," stated Espe.
 Sam Noel, current president of Columbia National Bank, will become executive vice president for Columbia Banking System. He will be responsible for both the commercial and savings bank operations in Southwest Washington.
 At Dec. 31, 1992, Columbia National Bank had total assets of $19.2 million, total equity of $1.27 million and 1,282,940 shares of common stock outstanding. Columbia Banking System had total assets of $139.5 million and total equity of $10.3 million at the end of last year. The acquisition agreement values Columbia National Bank at $1.50 per share or $1.9 million. Shareholders of Columbia National Bank and its parent holding company will receive 0.1622 shares of Columbia Banking System common stock for each share they own. Approximately 14,000 shares, owned by shareholders residing outside of Washington state, will be exchanged for cash in the amount of $1.50 per share.
 Columbia Banking System Inc. operates Columbia Bank, FSB, with four offices in Western Washington: two in Longview, one in Woodland and one in Bellevue. Columbia First Service, the bank's mortgage subsidiary, has offices in Bellevue, Longview and Seattle.
 -0- 3/1/93
 /CONTACT: Gayle Cloud of Cloud Public Relations, 206-453-5583, for Columbia Banking System; or Arnold G. Espe, chairman, 206-646-5370, or J. Mike Dunn, vice president, director of marketing, 206-646-5373, or evenings, 206-488-4874, both of Columbia Banking System Inc./
 (CBOR)


CO: Columbia Banking System Inc.; Columbia National Bankshares;
 Columbia National Bank ST: Washington IN: FIN SU: TNM


LM -- SE004 -- 1182 03/01/93 07:56 EST
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Date:Mar 1, 1993
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