Eastern named 2015 No. 1 SBA lender in New England

February 13, 2017

Eastern Bank named No. 1 SBA lender in New England for sixth consecutive year

Eastern ranked among the Top 10 SBA Lenders in the United States

BOSTON, October 28, 2015 – For the sixth consecutive year, Eastern Bank outpaced all competitors to rank as the No. 1 U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) lender in New England, placing it among the Top 10 SBA lenders nationally, the bank announced today.

“Small business lending is not just a business strategy at Eastern Bank – it is a central part of our mission to help good people and businesses prosper,” said Richard E. Holbrook, Eastern Bank Chairman and CEO.  “We are proud to lead all banks – big and small – in our support of small business, which remains vital to job and economic growth in the communities we serve.” 

Eastern Bank made 873 SBA loans in New England totaling more than $51.2 million, according to the SBA.  In addition, Eastern ranked No. 1 in the origination of 504 SBA first mortgage loans in New England for the third consecutive year with 51 loans worth more than $37 million.  The rankings are issued annually in October, based on the number of loans originated by banks in the SBA fiscal year, which runs Oct. 1 to Sept. 30. 

Eastern’s 815 7(a) SBA loans made in Massachusetts created 1,254 jobs and retained 1,266 jobs, according to SBA data self-reported by the bank.  

“FY 2015 was a phenomenal SBA year for Eastern Bank and the small businesses the bank serves. Not only was the bank again named the top SBA lender in MA and in New England, but the bank continues to be a leader in national rankings and was #10 by number of loans approved out of 2,163 total lenders nationwide that used SBA’s programs,” said Robert H. Nelson, SBA Massachusetts District Director. “The bank increased its loan approvals over FY 14 by 156 loans representing a 22% increase and the bank was also a very significant contributor in helping underserved markets to obtain badly needed capital during the past year. Congratulations to the small business lending team at Eastern Bank for a fantastic SBA year.”       

Small business accounts for 99.7 percent of all employers in the United States and employs half of the nation’s private sector workforce.  Small firms pay 44 percent of the total U.S. private payroll, have generated 65 percent of net new jobs over the past 17 years, and hire 43 percent of high tech workers, according to the SBA.

SBA loans are intended to help businesses that may not qualify for conventional loans get the funds they need to start, grow and expand.  In 2001, Eastern Bank’s experience with processing and servicing SBA-guaranteed loans earned it the designation as a preferred lender, allowing it to speed up the loan approval process significantly.

Starting in 2008, Eastern Bank placed a greater emphasis on providing SBA loans, including the addition of an SBA specialist to its team of business banking professionals. 

About Eastern Bank
Founded in 1818 and based in Boston, Eastern Bank is the largest and oldest mutual bank in the country, with $9.9 billion in assets and more than 100 branches serving communities in eastern Massachusetts and southern and coastal New Hampshire. Eastern Bank offers banking, investments and insurance all under one roof, and prides itself on working harder to understand its customers’ needs so it can deliver these services in a committed and personal way. Eastern Bank, which includes Eastern Bank Wealth Management and Eastern Insurance, is a recognized leader in corporate social responsibility and for its advocacy on behalf of a number of social justice causes.

For more information, contact: Andrew Ravens, Public Relations, Eastern Bank, 781-598-8528, or e-mail Andrew Ravens

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