April 22, 2013 at 13:00 PM EDT
Lake City Bank Named to KBW Bank Honor Roll of High Performing Banks

WARSAW, Ind., April 22, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Lake City Bank, the single bank subsidiary of Lakeland Financial Corporation (Nasdaq:LKFN), announced today that the Bank had been recognized by Keefe Bruyette and Woods (KBW) with its inclusion in the 2012 KBW Bank Honor Roll. Lake City Bank is one of 47 banking institutions with a ten-year record that met the KBW criteria for inclusion on its 2012 Bank Honor Roll.  In addition, Lake City Bank is one of 33 returning members that were included on the 2011 KBW Bank Honor Roll. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, a wholly owned subsidiary of Stifel Financial Corp. (NYSE:SF), is a full-service, boutique investment bank and broker-dealer that specializes in the financial services sector and is widely recognized as a leading authority in the banking industry.

KBW reported that they "found that the KBW Bank Honor Roll members have better-than-industry performance ratios and growth rates when compared to the publicly traded bank universe with total assets over $500 million, which includes nearly 400 companies listed on the NYSE and NASDAQ exchanges."

KBW further observed that "for the five-year period between 2007 and 2012, the KBW Bank Honor Roll members significantly outperformed the banking industry and the market." According to KBW, to be eligible to be included on the Bank Honor Roll, banks with more than $500 million in total assets must have:

  1. No annual loss reported in net income per share before extraordinary items over the past 10 years;
  2. 2012 annual reported net income per share before extraordinary items equal to or greater than peak net income per share over the past 10 years; and
  3. Consecutive increases in net income per share before extraordinary items since 2009.

Michael L. Kubacki, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "Lake City Bank's inclusion on this elite list of banks that have performed well over the past decade is extremely rewarding to our entire organization. We've worked hard to remain consistently dedicated to our client-driven strategy while at the same time focusing on shareholder performance and we are pleased that our results merit inclusion on the KBW Bank Honor Roll."

David M. Findlay, President and Chief Financial Officer, commented, "Our consistent long-term financial performance is what has earned Lake City Bank a spot on this list of high performing banks. Yet, that financial performance is only made possible by the commitment and dedication of the entire Lake City Bank Team to taking care of our customers, each and every day."

The full news release announcing the 2012 Bank Honor Roll can be accessed at http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20130415005374/en/KBW-Announces-2012-Bank-Honor-Roll-Award.

Lakeland Financial Corporation is a $2.9 billion bank holding company headquartered in Warsaw, Indiana. Lake City Bank serves Indiana with 45 branches located in the following Indiana counties: Kosciusko, Elkhart, Allen, St. Joseph, DeKalb, Fulton, Hamilton, Huntington, LaGrange, Marshall, Noble, Pulaski and Whitley.

Lakeland Financial Corporation may be accessed on the home page of its subsidiary, Lake City Bank, at www.lakecitybank.com. The Company's common stock is traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under "LKFN".

This document contains, and future oral and written statements of the Company and its management may contain, forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 with respect to the financial condition, results of operations, plans, objectives, future performance and business of the Company. Forward-looking statements, which may be based upon beliefs, expectations and assumptions of the Company's management and on information currently available to management, are generally identifiable by the use of words such as "believe," "expect," "anticipate," "plan," "intend," "estimate," "may," "will," "would," "could," "should" or other similar expressions. Additionally, all statements in this document, including forward-looking statements, speak only as of the date they are made, and the Company undertakes no obligation to update any statement in light of new information or future events. Additional information concerning the Company and its business, including factors that could materially affect the Company's financial results, is included in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K.

CONTACT: David M. Findlay
         President and
         Chief Financial Officer
         (574) 267-9197
         david.findlay@lakecitybank.com
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