FIRST FINANCIAL BANK ANNOUNCES Edgewood ESSAY CONTEST WINNER

March 29, 2010

Edgewood, Kentucky - March 29, 2010 - First Financial Bank is proud to announce the winner of the "What Success Means to Me" essay contest.  Hannah Bierwirth, a senior at Scott High School, receives a $1,000 United States Savings Bonds for her essay.

First Financial sponsored the essay contest in celebration of its new Edgewood banking center located at 3580 Madison Pike. The essay topic reflects First Financial's emphasis on helping clients take "another step on the path to success." Entries were judged by a panel of First Financial associates.

"We are proud to be part of Edgewood and we're pleased to make an important investment in the future of our community," said Art Hammond, vice president and retail marketing manager for Cincinnati/Kentucky. "The essays submitted by Scott High School students were really impressive. It's exciting to see what they envision for their future and how they plan to achieve their goals."

First Financial also gave $500 to Bierwirth's teacher, Addison Welp, who helped guide her students through the essay process. Welp will use the gift for classroom materials.

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About First Financial Bank, N.A.

First Financial Bank, N.A., founded in 1863, provides consumer and commercial banking products and services, and investment and insurance products through its retail banking center network. First Financial's strategic operating markets are located within Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Michigan where it operates 115 banking centers. First Financial Wealth Resource Group, the bank's wealth management division, provides investment management, traditional trust, brokerage and insurance services, and had approximately $2.2 billion in assets under management at December 31, 2009. The bank's parent company, First Financial Bancorp (Nasdaq: FFBC), is a Cincinnati, Ohio based bank holding company. At December 31, 2009, First Financial Bancorp had $6.7 billion in assets, including $4.8 billion in total loans and $5.4 billion in deposits. Additional information about First Financial, including its products, services, and banking center locations, is available at www.bankatfirst.com.