2/22/2011

BankFIRST Ranked “#1 Small Business Lender in Florida” for Second Consecutive Year

Winter Park, Florida – (February 22, 2011) – Donald J. McGowan, President and CEO of BankFIRST announced today that the bank has retained its standing as the “#1 Small Business Lender in Florida.” This marks the second consecutive year that BankFIRST has secured the top position, as ranked by the Office of Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration from call reports of all Florida financial institutions in 2008 and 2009.

McGowan stated that “We are extremely pleased to have solidified our ranking as the #1 Small Business Lender in Florida. BankFIRST's commitment to small business lending and community economic development is unparalleled in the banking industry. Our SBA Express Loan Center serves as an economic development resource for the Central Florida community by offering small businesses access to one of the widest arrays of government guaranteed loan programs available at any bank in Florida.”

BankFIRST is an SBA Preferred Lender, which is the Small Business Administration’s most trusted designation. As a National Preferred Lender, the SBA delegates its underwriting and approval authority directly to BankFIRST. The SBA Express Loan Center provides clients with a number of benefits, including terms that include 90% real estate financing and terms up to 25 years with no balloons available, term loans up to $5 million, and lines of credit up to $1 million.

About BankFIRST

Since it’s founding in 1989 as a state-chartered, federally insured commercial bank, BankFIRST has grown its assets to over $600 million. Situated in Central Florida, BankFIRST has ten branch offices located in Orange, Seminole, Lake and Brevard Counties, and has approximately 120 employees. In January 2010, the bank’s holding company, The BANKshares, Inc. announced the signing of a definitive agreement and plan of merger to acquire all of the outstanding common stock of The Commercial Bancorp, Inc. The Commercial Bancorp, Inc is the $90 million-asset bank holding company of East Coast Community Bank, headquartered in Ormond Beach, Florida. The merger is subject to customary conditions, including the approval of the shareholders of The Commercial Bancorp, Inc. and bank regulatory agencies. Upon receipt of the approvals, the transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2011. Simultaneously with the completion of this acquisition, East Coast Community Bank will be merged with and into BankFIRST, and will extend the bank’s geographic footprint into Volusia County, with two additional branch locations in Ormond Beach and Port Orange.

BankFIRST has been the recipient of numerous awards, including: “Best Community Bank in Central Florida” by the readers of the Orlando Business Journal in 2006 and 2009, “Best Bank in Seminole County” in 2008 and 2009, “2009 Business Achievement Award for Civic and Community Efforts” by the Lake Eustis Chamber of Commerce, and “#1 Community Bank SBA Lender in Florida”.

For more information on BankFIRST, visit www.bankfirst.com.