Bank of the Pacific to Close Branches in Ilwaco and Ferndale, WA, Balancing Physical Branch Locations with Enhanced Electronic Banking Channels

ABERDEEN, Wash., Oct. 30, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Pacific Financial Corporation (OTCQB:PFLC), the holding company for Bank of the Pacific, today announced plans to close two branches in Western Washington. One branch is in Ilwaco, three miles south of its Long Beach, Washington branch. The second branch in Ferndale is approximately 9 miles north of its two Bellingham offices and 11 miles southwest of its Lynden office. To assist with customer account transition, the Bank has invested in dynamic online and mobile platforms, enhancing flexibility, convenience and services to customers throughout the markets served.

“There has been a continuing shift in how people do transactions, and our strategy is to engage with our customers in ways that provide them the most convenient access to their accounts,” said Denise Portmann, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Although the face-to-face time we get with our customers is priceless, consumer demographics and our customers’ preferred channels of banking are undergoing significant changes. As a result, we expect to balance the physical branch locations with a robust electronic channel. This balanced strategy is key to assuring we are exceeding expectations for our customers while providing strong value to our shareholders.” Following the closure, customers may continue to access Bank of the Pacific’s 18 remaining branch locations, including four in Pacific County and three in Whatcom County. Customers will be receiving a letter in the coming days outlining the details of the transition.

“We have already made significant improvements to our mobile banking options and our sales and staffing models, and plan to tailor our branch network in concert with these changes,” Portmann continued.  “We continue to believe an optimized branch network plays a significant role in meeting the financial needs of our customers, and in delivering an integrated customer experience. As such, we plan to offer mobile payment services, such as ApplePay, by the end of the year. While investing in more digital and mobile solutions, we will remain disciplined with our capital and expenses.”

In terms of the financial impact of the actions announced today, once both branches are closed, total ongoing operating expense reductions are estimated to exceed $400,000 annually. “We will take a one-time charge by the end of the fourth quarter of 2015 of approximately $300,000 for associated closing-related costs. In addition, we have staged these branch closings so that we can talk to our customers on an individual basis and maximize deposit retention,” commented Portmann. “Upon completion of these transactions, Bank of the Pacific will have enhanced the effectiveness of its branch delivery network while continuing to maintain a strong presence in the States of Washington and Oregon.”

ABOUT PACIFIC FINANCIAL CORPORATION

Pacific Financial Corporation of Aberdeen, Washington, is the bank holding company for Bank of the Pacific, a state chartered and federally insured commercial bank. Bank of the Pacific offers banking products and services to small-to-medium sized businesses and professionals in Western Washington and Oregon. As of September 30, 2015, the Company had total assets of $815 million and operates seventeen branches in the communities of Grays Harbor, Pacific, Whatcom, Skagit, Clark and Wahkiakum counties in the state of Washington, and three branches in Clatsop County, Oregon. The Company also operates loan production offices in the communities of DuPont and Burlington in Washington and Salem, Oregon. Visit the Company’s website at www.bankofthepacific.com. Member FDIC.

Cautions Concerning Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains statements that constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and other laws, including all statements in this release that are not historical facts or that relate to future plans or events or projected results of Pacific Financial Corporation and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Bank of the Pacific. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those projected, anticipated or implied. These risks and uncertainties include various risks associated with growing the Bank and expanding the services it provides, successfully completing and integrating the acquisition of new branches and development of new business lines and markets, competition in the marketplace, general economic conditions, changes in interest rates, extensive and evolving regulation of the banking industry, and many other risks. We undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement. Readers of this release are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward-looking statements.

CONTACT: DENISE PORTMANN, PRESIDENT & CEO
         DOUGLAS BIDDLE, EVP & CFO
         360.537.4061
         
         The Cereghino Group
         IR CONTACT: 206-388-5785