Lake City Bank Opens Regional Headquarters in Downtown South Bend

45th Office Opens in Historic Bank Building

WARSAW, Ind., Jan. 9, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Lake City Bank, the single bank subsidiary of Lakeland Financial Corporation (Nasdaq:LKFN - News), announced today that it has opened its regional headquarters office in Downtown South Bend at the intersection of North Michigan Street and West Washington Street in the historic American Trust Place building. The official ribbon cutting will take place at 1:00 pm EST on Tuesday, January 17th.

Michael L. Kubacki, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "Our growth in St. Joseph County has been very strong over the past decade and we're proud that this growth has resulted in the opening of our regional headquarters office. As an Indiana bank serving Indiana communities, we're excited to become part of the professional community of downtown South Bend with our 45th office."

Jeff Rea, President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of St. Joseph County, commented on the opening, "We're pleased that Lake City Bank has continued their expansion and growth in St. Joseph County. It's a positive sign of the economic strength and future potential of the South Bend market, as the bank has made a substantial investment in our communities. This expansion further reinforces our belief that downtown South Bend plays an important role in our region's business community. "

The office will be home to nearly 20 South Bend Lake City Bank team members, including Senior Vice President and Commercial Banking Regional Manager Chris Craft and Vice President and Retail Banking Regional Manager Stephanie Leniski. The office will provide technology-driven banking solutions for businesses and individuals and serve as the Bank's regional headquarters. In addition, the Commercial Banking staff will provide direct access for clients to specialists in Wealth Advisory and Trust services, Commercial Treasury Management Services, Corporate Bond Administration, Retirement Services and Merchant Card Services.

David M. Findlay, President and Chief Financial Officer, stated, "We've worked closely with the building's architect to design an office that fits with the historic nature of the building. Lake City Bank's success has been built around connections to the communities we serve and this office will become an important part of that history as we continue our growth in the South Bend market."

Kubacki concluded, "This office is a natural extension of our commitment to Northern Indiana. With over $2 billion of loans to Indiana residents and businesses, we are focused on playing a role in the economic recovery of our Hoosier communities."

Lakeland Financial Corporation is a $2.8 billion bank holding company headquartered in Warsaw, Indiana. Lake City Bank serves Northern 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 The Company's common stock is traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under "LKFN". Market makers in Lakeland Financial Corporation common shares include Automated Trading Desk Financial Services, LLC, B-Trade Services, LLC, Citadel Securities, LLC, Citigroup Global Markets Holdings, Inc., Domestic Securities, Inc., E*TRADE Capital Markets LLC, Goldman Sachs & Company, Howe Barnes Hoefer & Arnett, Inc., Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, Inc., Knight Capital Americas, L.P., Morgan Stanley & Co., Inc., Sterne Agee & Leach, Stifel Nicolaus & Company, Inc., Susquehanna Capital Group and UBS Securities LLC.

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.

David M. Findlay
President and
Chief Financial Officer
(574) 267-9197
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