Exhibit 99.1

 

NEWS RELEASE    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Alliance Financial Announces Fourth Quarter and Record Full Year 2008 Earnings

Syracuse, NY, January 27, 2009—Alliance Financial Corporation (“Alliance”, or the “Company”) (NASDAQ: ALNC), the holding company for Alliance Bank, N.A., announced today its net income for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2008. Net income available to common shareholders decreased 4.2% to $2.3 million, or $0.51 per diluted share in the fourth quarter, compared to $2.4 million, or $0.51 per diluted share in the year-ago quarter. Net income available to common shareholders in 2008 increased 8.8% to $10.3 million or $2.24 per diluted share, compared to $9.5 million or $1.98 per share in 2007.

The fourth quarter’s results were most impacted by continued growth in net interest income which offset higher credit costs and a decrease in non-interest income. The Company attributed the increase in net interest income to a higher net interest margin which resulted from lower funding costs. Credit costs were up in the fourth quarter due largely to deterioration in specific segments of the Company’s equipment lease portfolio. Non-interest income decreased in the fourth quarter largely due to lower fee income in the Company’s investment management business due to the sharp drop in the equity markets over the past six months.

Jack H. Webb, President and CEO of Alliance said, “The Company surpassed a number of important milestones in 2008 despite a very challenging operating environment, with net income exceeding $10 million for the first time in our history, and residential mortgage originations reaching an all-time high of more than $100 million. Our disciplined lending philosophy and sound balance sheet management strategies were key factors behind our success in 2008 despite unprecedented disruptions in the capital markets and a deepening national recession.”

Webb continued, “Alliance is solidly positioned as we enter 2009, with a strong balance sheet and the highest regulatory capital ratios in our history, and we will continue to meet the retail and commercial credit needs of our market in what we expect will be another challenging year.”

Balance Sheet Highlights

Total assets were $1.4 billion at December 31, 2008, which increased $60.3 million or 4.6% from December 31, 2007. Total loans and leases (net of unearned income) were $910.8 million at December 31, 2008, compared with $916.0 million and $895.5 million at September 30, 2008 and December 31, 2007, respectively.


The following information was filed by Alliance Financial Corp (ALNC) on Tuesday, January 27, 2009 as an 8K 2.02 statement, which is an earnings press release pertaining to results of operations and financial condition. It may be helpful to assess the quality of management by comparing the information in the press release to the information in the accompanying 10-K Annual Report statement of earnings and operation as management may choose to highlight particular information in the press release.

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