EXHIBIT 99.1


     Washington Banking Company Earns $8.3 Million, or $0.88 Per Diluted Share in 2008

OAK HARBOR, WA – January 28, 2009 – Washington Banking Company (NASDAQ: WBCO)

, the holding company for Whidbey Island Bank, today reported that its well-diversified loan portfolio and strong capital ratios contributed to a profitable quarter. Washington Banking earned $1.7 million, or $0.18 per diluted share, in the quarter ended December 31, 2008, compared to $1.9 million, or $0.19 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter a year ago. In 2008, net income was $8.3 million, or $0.88 per diluted share, compared to $9.4 million, or $0.99 per diluted share in 2007.

“Our core strengths and consistent operating practices are reflected in our solid balance sheet, strong capital position and diversified loan portfolio,” said Jack Wagner, President and CEO. “We achieved these respectable results in spite of the continued deterioration in the overall economy.”

Conference Call Information
Management will host a conference call tomorrow, January 29, 2009, at 10:00 AM PST (1:00 noon EST) to discuss the quarterly results. The live call can be accessed by dialing (303) 262-2053 or on the web at
www.wibank.com. The replay, which will be available for 90 days beginning shortly after the call concludes, can be heard at (303) 590-3000 with access code 11124816#, or on the web at www.wibank.com.

Fourth Quarter 2008 Financial Highlights (December 31, 2008, compared to December 31, 2007)

  • Capital ratios remained well above the regulatory requirements for well-capitalized institutions, with Tier 1 Capital to risk-adjusted assets of 11.98% compared to 11.14%.
  • Continued strong asset quality with nonperforming assets to total assets at 0.46% from 0.48%.
  • Total net loans increased 2% to $811 million from $795 million.
  • Book value per share increased 9% to $8.47 compared to $7.78.
  • Continued payment of quarterly cash dividends equivalent to an annual dividend of $0.26 per common share, with a yield of 3.2% at recent share prices.
  • Core deposits, consisting of transaction accounts and CDs under $100,000, totaled $561.1 million and accounted for 75% of total deposits.

Credit Quality
“Considering the difficult market conditions, our asset quality has remained above average,” said Joe Niemer, Chief Credit Officer. “Like other banks in the area, we are seeing stress in our construction portfolio and higher credit costs in our indirect loan program, although at manageable levels.” Nonperforming assets totaled $4.1 million, or 0.46% of total assets at December 31, 2008, compared to $4.6 million, or 0.50% of total assets at September 30, 2008, and $4.3 million, or 0.48% of total assets, a year ago. “Our NPAs continue to be limited to a handful of relationships and our loan portfolio remains well diversified by borrowers, loan type and geography within our operating area in Northwest Washington.” Nonperforming assets consist of nonaccrual loans, accruing loans 90 days or more past due, restructured loans and other real estate owned (OREO).

(more)


The following information was filed by Washington Banking Co (WBCO) on Thursday, January 29, 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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