For Immediate Distribution Contact: Kevin Pesko
Bank of Belleville
(in organization)

Local Banker Files Application for New Community Bank in Belleville

BELLEVILLE, Ill,  April 28, 2005 - Local banker Kevin M. Pesko today announced he has filed an application to organize a community bank in Belleville, Illinois. Pending regulatory approvals, Bank of Belleville (in organization) will be located at 720 West Main Street in Richland Plaza. The full-service community bank will focus on providing personalized banking services to small to medium-sized business owners, commercial real estate professionals and individuals via a full range of loan and deposit products.

Pesko is a 25-year veteran of the banking industry in the Belleville area, and, most recently held the position of executive vice president with Union Planters Bank. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville and is a graduate of the Madison Graduate School of Banking.

"Having spent my entire banking career in this area, with most of my experience in Belleville, I know there is tremendous opportunity to provide a high-touch, relationship-based banking experience to businesses and business professionals in Belleville and the surrounding communities," said Pesko. "We intend to be an integral part of this community and that means we will make our loan decisions here, draw our directors and staff from the community and will be involved in community and civic groups. We've already received tremendous support from the city during our location selection process and are currently fine-tuning the property development plans."

Pesko will be joined by Ronald R. Stephens at the new bank. Stephens has more than 19 years of commercial banking experience in the Belleville area. "This customer-focused approach supported by local decision making will enable us to meet the needs of our clients. It is especially exciting for this to occur in the midst of significant economic expansion in Belleville," said Stephens.

The proposed bank also plans to offer the conveniences of an ATM, drive-up windows and a courier service for business clients. Pesko anticipates opening the Bank of Belleville (in organization) in the fall.