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Peoples Bank Receives Complaint on Overdraft Program

NEWTON, N.C., June 15, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- On June 7, 2012, a lawsuit was filed against Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina, Inc. (Nasdaq:PEBK) and its subsidiary, Peoples Bank, in Lincoln County, North Carolina Superior Court. The complaint alleges the Bank failed to operate its overdraft program and process customer transactions in accordance with its customer account agreement. The lawsuit also alleges the Bank has violated the North Carolina Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act in its assessment and collection of overdraft fees. The lawsuit seeks the refund of overdraft fees, treble damages, attorneys' fees and injunctive relief.

The Bank has carefully considered the allegations, and, after investigation, find them to be without merit. The Bank intends to vigorously defend the lawsuit, including the request that the lawsuit be certified as a class action.

Requests for further information should be directed to Mr. Bill Cable or Mr. Joe Lampron, 828-464-5620.

Statements made in this press release, other than those concerning historical information, should be considered forward-looking statements pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and the Private Securities Litigation Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties and are based on the beliefs and assumptions of management and on the information available to management at the time that this release was prepared. These statements can be identified by the use of words like "expect," "anticipate," "estimate," and "believe," variations of these words and other similar expressions. Readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements as a number of important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include, but are not limited to, (1) competition in the markets served by Peoples Bank, (2) changes in the interest rate environment, (3) general national, regional or local economic conditions may be less favorable than expected, resulting in, among other things, a deterioration in credit quality and the possible impairment of collectibility of loans, (4) legislative or regulatory changes, including changes in accounting standards, (5) significant changes in the federal and state legal and regulatory environment and tax laws, (6) the impact of changes in monetary and fiscal policies, laws, rules and regulations and (7) other risks and factors identified in the Company's other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including but not limited to those described in Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina, Inc.'s annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011.

CONTACT: Mr. Bill Cable
         Mr. Joe Lampron
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