Lake City Bank Announces Significant Commitment to Ash Brokerage Headquarters in Fort Wayne

Bank Announces New Downtown Office and Financing Commitment

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| Source: Lake City Bank

WARSAW, Ind., Dec. 9, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Lake City Bank, the single bank subsidiary of Lakeland Financial Corporation (Nasdaq:LKFN), announced today that it has approved approximately $20 million in financing for Ash Brokerage Corporation's new headquarters in downtown Fort Wayne, Ind. The company also announced that it will open a Lake City Bank office in the planned first floor retail space, marking the first tenant to make a commitment to the development.

Tim Ash, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ash Brokerage, commented, "Lake City Bank's commitment to our headquarters project is an important step forward. As our financial partner, the bank's approval of this loan facility will provide us with the capital to bring this facility to reality. We're also excited to have Lake City Bank as the anchor tenant in the retail portion of the development. The bank's decision is a reflection of the growing vibrancy of downtown Fort Wayne."

As previously announced, the new Ash Brokerage headquarters will include 95,000 square feet of office space and will house 230 employees in the initial move downtown. According to Ash, future plans include the addition of 115 new positions by 2018. The building is part of a major commitment to downtown Fort Wayne that includes a parking garage and residential units.

Michael L. Kubacki, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lake City Bank, observed, "Since establishing our first office in Fort Wayne in 1998, we've grown our total deposits in Allen County to more than $600 million, making us the largest Indiana-based bank in the county. Our strong growth in the Fort Wayne market over the past 15 years is a reflection of our expansion throughout Northern and Central Indiana. Ash Brokerage is a great client partner and we're excited to play multiple roles in this development."

David Findlay, President and Chief Financial Officer of Lake City Bank, added, "With more deposits in Allen County than any other Indiana-based bank, developing an office downtown is a natural extension of our success in the market. We're thrilled with our presence in the Fort Wayne market and are making a long term investment in the community with this office. We're looking forward to playing a role in the continued growth of Fort Wayne."

The new office, which is expected to occupy approximately 4,000 square feet of the 20,000 square feet of first floor space, will be home to a full service retail office, including a drive through, and will also include office space for the bank's Commercial Banking Department, Lake City Bank Investment and Wealth Advisory Group. The office will provide direct access to every commercial and retail product that the bank offers.

Lake City Bank is a $3.0 billion bank headquartered in Warsaw, Ind. 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. The company expects to open a 46th office in the Indianapolis market located in Fishers, Ind. in January 2014. For more information visit www.lakecitybank.com.

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.

Mary Horan
Vice President
Director of Marketing and Public Relations
574-371-9280