PremierWest Bank and AmericanWest Bank Merger Approved by Shareholders

Marketwired

MEDFORD, OR and SPOKANE, WA--(Marketwire - Mar 28, 2013) - PremierWest Bank and AmericanWest Bank announced that holders of a majority of PremierWest Bancorp's (NASDAQ: PRWT) common stock have voted to approve the proposed merger of the two companies. The proxy vote was announced at the reconvened special meeting of shareholders today in Medford. Regulatory approval has already been received; the merger is expected to close in April 2013.

"We are very pleased to announce the approval of the merger by our common shareholders. We believe that the merger will benefit our employees and customers by partnering with the significant resources of AmericanWest Bank," said Jim Ford, President and CEO of PremierWest Bancorp.

"On behalf of our team, I want PremierWest Bank customers and communities to know that we look forward to bringing together our two community banks and augmenting the outstanding service you have come to expect with our strong capital position, comprehensive products and services, and a commitment to local decision-making," said Scott A. Kisting, Chairman and CEO, AmericanWest Bank. "We look forward to exceeding your expectations in the days and years to come and stand ready to continue earning your business."

DISCLOSURE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This press release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the "Safe-Harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, which management believes are a benefit to shareholders. We make forward-looking statements in this press release about the closing date of the merger with Pearl Merger Sub Corp., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Starbuck Bancshares, Inc. These statements are necessarily subject to risk and uncertainty and actual results could differ materially due to certain risk factors, including those set forth from time to time in PremierWest's filings with the SEC. You should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements and we undertake no obligation to update any such statements.

ABOUT PREMIERWEST BANCORP

PremierWest Bancorp (NASDAQ: PRWT) is a bank holding company headquartered in Medford, Oregon, and operates primarily through its subsidiary, PremierWest Bank. PremierWest Bank offers expanded banking-related services through its subsidiary, PremierWest Investment Services, Inc.

PremierWest Bank was created following the merger of the Bank of Southern Oregon and Douglas National Bank in May 2000. In April 2001, PremierWest Bancorp acquired Timberline Bancshares, Inc. and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Timberline Community Bank, located in Siskiyou County in northern California. In January 2004, PremierWest acquired Mid Valley Bank located in the northern California counties of Shasta, Tehama and Butte. In January 2008, PremierWest acquired Stockmans Financial Group, and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Stockmans Bank, located in the Sacramento, California area. During the last several years, PremierWest expanded into Klamath Falls and the Central Oregon communities of Bend and Redmond, and into Nevada, Yolo and Butte counties in California.

ABOUT AMERICANWEST BANK

Based in Spokane, Washington, AmericanWest Bank is a business-focused community bank offering commercial and small business banking, mortgage lending, treasury management products as well as a full-suite of personal banking products. The bank currently operates 80 branches in Washington, California, Idaho and Utah. Learn more about us at www.awbank.net.

Contact:
CONTACT:

For PremierWest Bank:
Doug Biddle
EVP & Chief Financial Officer
(541) 282-5391
doug.biddle@PremierWestBank.net

For AmericanWest Bank:
Kelly McPhee
Director of Communications
(509) 991-0575
kelly.mcphee@awbank.net
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