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COLUMBIA FIRST SERVICE SIGNS AGREEMENT TO ACQUIRE DRAKE MORTGAGE

 COLUMBIA FIRST SERVICE SIGNS AGREEMENT TO ACQUIRE DRAKE MORTGAGE
 BELLEVUE, Wash., Sept. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Columbia First Service Inc., the mortgage banking subsidiary of Bellevue-based Columbia Bank FSB, announced today it has signed an agreement to acquire the mortgage capabilities of Drake Mortgage, effective Sept. 22.
 Columbia First Service will employ Drake Mortgage professionals and support staff, and will purchase the company's furniture and equipment. Drake Mortgage President and Founder Stan Drake will become the senior vice president/loan production for Columbia First Service.
 Drake Mortgage, with offices at 400 108th Ave. N.E., Bellevue, and 1200 Eastlake Ave., Seattle, has closed more than $60 million in mortgage loans since Jan. 1, 1992.
 "We are excited about the Drake Mortgage acquisition because we believe it is the first in a series of acquisitions Columbia Bank will be looking at in the near future," said Arnold G. Espe, chairman of Columbia Bank.
 "This is a great opportunity to expand our product offering and a way for us to be part of large and professional financial organization," said Drake.
 "We can now expand our operations into a full-fledged mortgage banking operation allowing us to better serve our present and future customers," said John F. Whiteman, president and chief executive officer of Columbia First Service. "Drake Mortgage has an excellent reputation in the Puget Sound region's real estate community. We are pleased to be able to work with Stan and all of the professionals there."
 Columbia First Service will operate from three locations: its corporate headquarters at 320 108th Ave. N.E., Bellevue, and the two former Drake locations.
 Columbia Bank is a full-service federal savings bank, with four branch offices in Western Washington -- one in Bellevue, two in Longview and one in Woodland. Columbia Bank is owned by Columbia Banking System Inc. (NASDAQ: COLB), which recently completed a successful $11 million public offering of convertible notes and common stock.
 -0- 9/23/92
 /CONTACT: John Whiteman of Columbia First Service, 206-646-8664; or Mike Dunn of Columbia Bank, 206-646-5373/
 (COLB) CO: Columbia First Service Inc.; Columbia Banking System Inc.; Drake
 Mortgage ST: Washington IN: FIN SU: TNM


JH-LM -- SE004 -- 2460 09/23/92 08:02 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 23, 1992
Words:362
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