First Financial Celebrates Grand Reopening of the 45th Street Banking Center

October 13, 2010

HIGHLAND, Ind. -- October 13, 2010-Continuing its ongoing investment in and focus on the Northwest Indiana region, First Financial Bank completed the first of two major renovation projects in the Highland area.

The 45th Street banking center, located at 2750 45th Street, now has a brand new look and feel.  The interior design upgrades include an open and accessible floor plan, new teller lines, comfortable furniture, bright colors, and engaging merchandising graphics. Crews also renovated the ten lane drive-thru, including the two full-service drive-thru ATMs.

"As we continue to grow in this area, the upgrades will allow us to serve clients faster and more efficiently. The personal relationships we develop with our clients is very important to us and we cannot wait to share this new space with them," said David Harvey, First Financial's Northern Indiana regional president.

Part two of the Highland area renovation plans will include enhancements to the Downtown Highland banking center, located at 2611 Highway Avenue.  Crews are currently working to remove the existing archways enhancing the overall appearance of the exterior of the banking center.  Similar interior design enhancements made at the 45th Street location will soon be made at the Downtown Highland location as well.

Since 2008, First Financial has invested more than $4 million in new and enhanced facilities across Northwest Indiana.  This includes a brand new prototype banking center in Crown Point, significant improvements to the Schererville banking center and the two renovation projects that began in Highland this past summer.

Clients and local residents are invited to stop by the 45th Street banking center for a week long open house starting October 18. Guests can tour the new space, enjoy refreshments and meet with the banking center team.

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About First Financial Bancorp

First Financial Bancorp is a Cincinnati, Ohio based bank holding company. As of June 30, 2010, the company had $6.6 billion in assets, $4.4 billion in loans, $5.2 billion in deposits and $707 million in shareholders' equity. The company's subsidiary, First Financial Bank, N.A., founded in 1863, provides banking and financial services products through its three lines of business: commercial, retail and wealth management. The commercial and retail units provide traditional banking services to business and consumer clients. The Wealth Resource Group provides financial planning, investment management, trust and estate planning, brokerage, insurance and retirement plan services and had approximately $2.2 billion in assets under management as of June 30, 2010. The company's strategic operating markets are located in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Michigan where it operates 113 banking centers across 75 communities. Additional information about the company, including its products, services and banking locations is available at www.bankatfirst.com.