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STERLING SAVINGS ASSOCIATION OF SPOKANE, WASH., ANNOUNCES ACQUISITION OF SIX KEY BANK OF WASHINGTON BRANCH PROPERTIES

 SPOKANE, Wash., July 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Sterling Savings, a wholly- owned subsidiary of Sterling Financial Corp. (NASDAQ: STSA) announced today that they have entered into a purchase and sale agreement with Key Bank of Washington to acquire six branch properties located in western Washington.
 Sterling will purchase the title to three sites located at 5512 22nd N.W. in Ballard; at 224 S.W. 152nd St. in Burien; and 1375 Regents Blvd. in Tacoma (Fircrest). Sterling will purchase the leasehold interest in three sites: 500 108th Ave. N.E. in Bellevue; 1700 S. 320th in Federal Way (SeaTac); and 828 N.E. Northgate Way in Seattle (Northgate).
 "In addition to increasing our branch network, this purchase affirms Sterling's commitment to further expansion within Washington state," Harold B. Gilkey, chairman of the board and chief executive officer, stated. This will increase Sterling's number of full-service branches in Washington to 34.
 The purchase has received regulatory approval and is due to close July 29, 1993, with the exception of Fircrest which is scheduled to close Nov. 30, 1993.
 In the months ahead, Sterling will be remodeling each facility and building a branch staff to accommodate the needs of the customers in each of these locations. Bellevue, Ballard and Northgate are targeted to open in the early fall; Burien and Federal Way, mid-fall; and Fircrest, year-end.
 This announcement follows on the heels of two other significant announcements: Sterling's purchase of the landmark Crescent (Frederick & Nelson) property in downtown Spokane for its corporate headquarters and Sterling's purchase of property in the Spokane Valley for its full-service branch and a retail or professional center. Gilkey emphasized, "These current investments will ensure tomorrow's accomplishments."
 Sterling Financial Corp. of Spokane, is a savings and loan holding company which owns Sterling Savings Association. Sterling Savings Association is a Washington state chartered, federally-insured stock savings association which opened in April 1983. Sterling Savings Association, based in Spokane, has 27 branches throughout the state of Washington and, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Action Mortgage Co., operates loan production offices in Washington, Oregon and Idaho.
 -0- 7/19/93
 /CONTACT: Heidi B. Stanley of Sterling Savings, 509-458-2711/
 (STSA)


CO: Sterling Savings; Sterling Financial Corp. ST: Washington IN: FIN SU:

LM-SB -- SE003 -- 3255 07/19/93 17:00 EDT
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Date:Jul 19, 1993
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