Webster Bank Earns Spot as Connecticut's Top SBA Lender for 2010

Oct 18, 2010, 11:56 ET from Webster Bank from ,Webster Financial Corporation

WATERBURY, Conn., Oct. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- For the third consecutive year, Webster Bank has been named Connecticut's number one U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) lender for total number of loans and total dollars approved.

For the 2009-2010 federal fiscal year that ended September 30, Webster made 68 SBA loans valued at $21.4 million. For the ninth straight year, Webster was the state's top SBA 504 lender, and it was also Connecticut's number one lender for the SBA's America's Recovery Capital (ARC) Loan Program.

"The SBA Webster Bank partnership has assisted many new and existing customers in accessing critical capital to maintain and grow their businesses," said Robert F. Polito Jr., Webster's senior vice president and Director of Government Guaranteed Lending. "The SBA allows us the flexibility to deploy credit on very favorable terms, especially in today's economically challenged environment."

Webster's SBA loans were made to a variety of small businesses, from sole proprietorships to manufacturers, retailers and wholesalers. "As the largest independent commercial bank headquartered in New England, Webster is committed to helping fund the recovery in the region," said Timothy D. Bergstrom, senior vice president and Director of Relationship Sales for Business & Professional Banking. "Our partnership with the SBA enhances our ability to assist the small and medium-size businesses that are the engines of economic growth."

The SBA 504 program is targeted at borrowers who want to acquire real estate and fixed assets with as little as 10 percent investment. The ARC program was created in 2009 as a temporary measure to provide short-term relief for viable small businesses facing immediate financial hardship to help ride out the current uncertain economic times and return to profitability.

Webster's SBA volume in 2010 returned the high reached in 2008, further indicating the ability and the Bank's desire to lend. With the recent changes enacted in the Jobs Creation Bill, the limits for SBA's 7a loan program have increased to $5 million.

Webster's portfolio of SBA loans totals $135 million in total commitments and accounts for more than 12 percent of Webster's Business and Professional Banking loan portfolio.

Webster Bank was one of only two banks in the nation to earn the SBA's 2007 National Excellence in Lending Award for its outstanding overall record with SBA loans. Webster was also named the state's top SBA Patriot Express lender in 2007, a program that provides eligible military veterans preferential pricing terms on SBA guaranteed loans.

Webster Financial Corporation (NYSE: WBS) is the holding company for Webster Bank, National Association. With $17.8 billion in assets, Webster provides business and consumer banking, mortgage, financial planning, trust and investment services through 181 banking offices, 497 ATMs, mobile banking, the Customer Care Center, and the Internet. Webster Bank owns the asset-based lending firm Webster Business Credit Corporation, and the equipment finance firm Webster Capital Finance, and provides health savings account, trustee and administrative services through HSA Bank, a division of Webster Bank. Member FDIC and equal housing lender. For more information about Webster, including past press releases and the latest annual report, visit Webster's website at www.websterbank.com.

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SOURCE Webster Bank; Webster Financial Corporation