First Financial’s Commitment to Downtown Columbus Grows

October 26, 2010

COLUMBUS, Ind. -- October 26, 2010- Continuing its ongoing investment in and focus on Columbus, Indiana and the surrounding region, First Financial Bank announces its plan to build a new full-service prototype banking center in downtown Columbus. 
Following the sale of its office complex at Fifth and Washington Street, to Cummins, Inc., First Financial will build its new facility on land the bank owns on the corner of Third and Brown Streets.

"We're pleased to have the opportunity to work with Cummins to provide them with the space they need as they continue to grow and bring new jobs to Columbus," said Claude Davis, president and CEO of First Financial Bank. "The sale of our Washington Street properties allows us to move forward with the development of a new state-of-the-art banking center and office complex for our sales associates in the heart of downtown Columbus. These plans exemplify our commitment to contribute to the city's Vision 2020 plan to bring quality development initiatives to downtown."

This new banking center will be the first in Columbus to be built using First Financial's new award-winning prototype design. The open and accessible interior includes visual merchandising as well as engaging retail graphics to "take the client on a journey" that will remind them of defining moments of success in their lives.

Clients will find a full complement of retail, commercial lending, and wealth management services as well as teller and ATM drive-thru service in the new facility. The new building will also incorporate several elements that reflect the company's commitment to sustainability, including energy-efficient building materials, lighting controls, solar powered efficiencies and others.

Until construction on the new facility is complete in late 2011 or early 2012, drive-thru and lobby service will remain at the current 500 Washington Street location. First Financial Bank will continue to use 435 Washington St. to provide office space for associates.

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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.