Center Bancorp, Inc. Declares Quarterly Dividend of $.03 Per Share

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| Source: Center Bancorp, Inc.

UNION, N.J., Feb. 23, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Center Bancorp, Inc. (Nasdaq:CNBC), parent company to Union Center National Bank, ("UCNB"), of Union, New Jersey, announced today that at its Board meeting dated February 22, 2012 the Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $.03 per share. This dividend declared is for the quarter ending March 31, 2012. The dividend will be distributed on May 1, 2012, to shareholders of record on April 13, 2012.

About Center Bancorp

Center Bancorp, Inc. is a bank holding company, which operates Union Center National Bank, its main subsidiary. Chartered in 1923, Union Center National Bank is one of the oldest national banks headquartered in the state of New Jersey and now ranks as the third largest national bank headquartered in the state. Union Center National Bank is currently the largest commercial bank headquartered in Union County. Its primary market niche is its commercial banking business. The Bank focuses its lending activities on commercial lending to small and medium-sized businesses, real estate developers and high net worth individuals.

The Bank, through its Private Wealth Management Division, which includes its wholly-owned subsidiary, Center Financial Group LLC, provides financial services including brokerage services, insurance and annuities, mutual funds, financial planning, estate and tax planning, trust, elder care and benefit plan administration.

The Bank currently operates 13 banking locations in Union and Morris Counties in New Jersey. Banking centers are located in Union Township (6 locations), Berkeley Heights, Boonton/Mountain Lakes, Madison, Millburn/Vauxhall, Morristown, Springfield, and Summit, New Jersey. The Bank also operates remote ATM locations in the Chatham and Madison New Jersey Transit train stations.

While the Bank's primary market area is comprised of Union and Morris Counties, New Jersey, the Corporation has expanded to northern and central New Jersey. At December 31, 2011, the Corporation had total assets of $1.4 billion, total deposits of $1.1 billion and stockholders' equity of $135.9 million.

For further information regarding Center Bancorp, Inc., visit our web site at http://www.centerbancorp.com or call (800)-862-3683. For information regarding Union Center National Bank, visit our web site at http://www.ucnb.com.

Investor Inquiries:
Joseph Gangemi,
VP, Investor Relations Officer
(908) 206-2863