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January 2011: BAUERFINANCIAL, Inc., Coral Gables, Florida, the nation’s bank rating firm, proudly recognizes SmartBank, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee as one of the strongest banks in the nation. Having earned BauerFinancial’s highest 5-Star rating for strength and stability, SmartBank has once again proven its commitment to superiority. To earn Bauer’s 5-Star Superior rating, SmartBank must excel in areas of capital adequacy, delinquent loan levels and profitability to name just a few.

“The staff and management of SmartBank should be very proud to work for such a strong financial institution,” notes Karen L. Dorway, president of the research firm. “Often the general public does not know the financial strengths or weaknesses of their bank, so BAUERFINANCIAL’s highest rating helps to assure customers and the community that they are dealing with a strong financial institution that will be able to fulfill their banking needs for years to come.”

SmartBank was established in 2007 and has been serving the banking needs of its neighbors and friends for four years. It operates through four conveniently located offices in Pigeon Forge, Sevierville, Gatlinburg and Knoxville, and can also be found on the internet at www.smartbank.net.

BAUERFINANCIAL, Coral Gables, Florida, the nation’s leading independent bank and credit union rating and research firm, has been reporting on and analyzing the performance of U.S. banks and credit unions since 1983. No institution pays BauerFinancial to rate it, nor can any choose to be excluded. Consumers may obtain star-ratings by visiting www.bauerfinancial.com.