Washington based AmericanWest Bank and Seattle
based Viking Bank will merge to create a larger presence in
Washington.

Earlier this year, AmericanWest expanded into
western Washington by acquiring Bank of the Northwest. The seven
Viking locations will provide customers greater access to services
throughout Puget Sound and the west. Viking Financial Services
Corporation, the holding company of Viking, will merge with an
affiliate of AmericanWest.

Chairman and CEO of AmericanWest Bank, Scott
Kisting, said, “Our bank is in a strong capital position with money
to lend so we are particularly enthusiastic about the positive
impact we can make by meeting the lending and enhanced product
needs of Viking customers.”

Chairman of Viking Financial, Landon Brazier,
said, “Going forward our customers will benefit from
AmericanWest’s considerable capital resources and
infrastructure. The last three years have been extremely
challenging for Viking Bank and other local banks in the area. This
transaction also delivers our shareholders liquidity in a time of
considerable market turmoil.”

Currently, AmericanWest has total assets of
approximately $2 billion and deposits of approximately $1.6
billion. At the end of June 2011, Viking Financial had total assets
of $406 million and total deposits of $379 million.

Under the terms of the definitive merger
agreement, Viking Financial shareholders will receive aggregate
cash consideration of $7.2 million, or $2.65 per share.

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By GlobalData

The merger transaction is subject to the receipt of all
necessary regulatory and shareholder approvals, and other
conditions. The deal is targeted to close around year-end.