News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

August 19, 2013

First Financial expands with the acquisition of 9 banking facilities in southern Illinois

TERRE HAUTE — First Financial Bank, a subsidiary of First Financial Corp., has added nine locations to serve Illinois customers with the acquisition of Bank of America branches in the communities of Benton, Charleston, Hillsboro, Mattoon, Mount Vernon, Salem and West Frankfort, Ill. The acquisition includes seven full-service and two drive-up banking centers.

These banking centers opened for normal business hours as First Financial Bank branches today, Aug. 19. All current banking center staff members are now employees of First Financial.

With the addition of the new locations, First Financial operates 73 banking centers serving 46 communities in Illinois and Indiana, offering a full range of financial products and services, including personal and business banking, investments, insurance and wealth management.

First Financial Corp. CEO Norman L. Lowery called the acquisition a logical extension of the bank’s service area. “These branches are, for the most part, adjacent to our current markets. This acquisition allows us to invest in communities we're familiar with.”

Founded in 1834, First Financial Bank is the fifth oldest national bank in the United States, still operating under a charter granted when Abraham Lincoln signed the National Currency Act into law in 1863. The bank is well capitalized, with capital ratios that exceed regulatory standards. As a major lender in its service area, First Financial provides a variety of business, mortgage and consumer loans to address community credit needs.

“Because we are a community bank, we focus on our customers and the communities we serve,” Lowery said. “Promoting local economic development and growth has always been a priority for us. We look forward to continuing that tradition in our new Illinois locations.”

First Financial Corp., headquartered in Terre Haute, Indiana, had assets of $2.9 billion at the end of 2012. The corporation's stock is traded on the NASDAQ under the market symbol THFF. First Financial's website is at www.first-online.com

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