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EVERETT, WA- Over the past four years, commercial, industrial, commercial real estate, construction, and consumer installment loans have increased from one-third to 52% of Cascade Bank’s total loan portfolio.

To reflect that trend, Cascade on Friday became the first federally-chartered savings association in Washington State to convert directly to a commercial bank charter. The bank’s parent company, Cascade Financial Corp., concurrently converted to being a bank holding company with a financial holding company election.

“Our new charter grants Cascade Bank all the powers and authorities of national banks operating in Washington State. And, by becoming a financial holding company we can pursue a broad range of activities that are financial in nature,” said company chairman Frank M. McCord.

Chartered in 1916, Cascade Bank is the oldest financial institution headquartered in Snohomish County. The Bank has been locally managed for more than 85 years, and currently operates 14 full service offices, located in Everett, Lynnwood, Marysville, Mukilteo, Smokey Point, Issaquah, Clearview, Woodinville, Lake Stevens and Bellevue.

Cascade Bank’s primary regulator is now the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions, which conducts joint exams with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. “Our regulatory costs should decline,” said company chairman Frank McCord.

Cascade reported record fiscal 2001 profits early last week that were fueled by a 44% jump in fourth quarter net income. Profits increased 23% to $4.6 million or 78 cents per diluted share on revenue of $22.2 million, compared to $3.7 million, or 63 cents per diluted share, on revenues of $21.0 million for the year ended June 30, 2000.

On Wednesday, July 25, shares of Cascade hit a 52-week high of $10. One year ago, the company’s stock was trading at a 52-week low of $6.75. By the end of trading Friday, the share price had backed off only a nickel.

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