WASHINGTON, April 27, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- East West Bank of Pasadena, Calif., was recognized as the 2015 Export Lender of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), for its remarkable performance in providing $16.43 million in export financing to small businesses in 2014. East West Bank's Senior Vice President Wai-Chun Li was presented the award by SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet at the 8th Annual SBA Export Lenders' Roundtable in Washington, D.C.
"East West Bank is a proactive lender that has recognized the benefits of offering a spectrum of SBA export loan guarantees to meet the financing needs of small business exporters in multiple states. That is why it gives me great pleasure to recognize the hard work of all SBA Export Lenders and, in particular, recognize East West Bank as the SBA Export Lender of the Year," said Administrator Contreras-Sweet. "Today, 98 percent of American companies that export are small businesses and one out of every five jobs is tied to exports. Under President Obama's Administration, SBA has supported $5.6 billion in loans to small business exporters – financing that wouldn't be possible without our lending partners. I look forward to working closely with our SBA Export lenders to break down silos within their organizations to expand the number of small dollar export loans and support an ecosystem that eliminates barriers to small business exporting."
The California-based bank has 130 branches nationwide, including in Washington, Georgia, Nevada, Massachusetts, New York, and Texas. East West Bank has been an SBA lender since 1999. In FY 2014, the bank provided over $211 million in general SBA loan funding, of which $16.43 million were export-related loans up from $3.95 million in export-related loans in FY 2012.
Exports continue to be a driving force behind the nation's economic recovery, and SBA export lenders are crucial in helping U.S. businesses start, grow and successfully expand their presence in the global marketplace. According to most recent Census Bureau data for calendar year 2014, U.S. exports of goods and services increased to a record $2.35 trillion.
In FY 2014, SBA approved 1,641 loans to small business exporters for $1.34 billion, more than double the amount of $611 million provided four years ago in FY 2010.
The Export Lenders Roundtable, sponsored by the SBA Office of International Trade, is an annual event that brings together export lenders and other experts to share best practices and encourage increased export financing to small businesses. This year's event included sessions on SBA export loan data and trends, an update by the Office of Capital Access, lender best practices, and SBA's response to lender recommendations.
For more information about SBA's export lending programs, visit www.sba.gov/exporting.
SOURCE U.S. Small Business Administration