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Eastern Bank named No. 1 SBA lender in Massachusetts for third consecutive year

Bank also named top small business lender in New England

BOSTON, Oct. 18, 2011 – For the third consecutive year, Eastern Bank outpaced larger competitors to rank as the No. 1 U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) lender in Massachusetts.  Eastern was also named the No. 1 SBA lender in New England, the bank announced today.
  
Eastern Bank made 342 SBA loans in Massachusetts totaling more than $24 million, according to the SBA’s Boston District Office.  In addition, Eastern ranked No. 1 in the origination of 504 SBA first mortgage loans.  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 ranked No. 1 in the number of SBA loans originated and dollar amount in Massachusetts.  Eastern’s 342 SBA loans created 449 jobs and retained 1,668 jobs, according to the SBA.  It also ranked first in the number of SBA loans originated in New England.  Eastern achieved record company results in every SBA lending category, as it further demonstrated its commitment to service small business. 

“Eastern Bank is proud to be recognized as the No. 1 small business lender in Massachusetts for a third consecutive year,” said Richard E. Holbrook, chairman and CEO of Eastern Bank.  “We are dedicated to delivering the credit small businesses need to grow and, ultimately, create new jobs in the community.”

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.

“As small business goes, so goes the economy, and one vital component of small business success is the ability to secure financing,” said Massachusetts SBA Director Robert H. Nelson.  “Eastern Bank has shown outstanding leadership in their commitment to and support of small businesses in the communities they serve.”

Although Eastern Bank is only the state’s fifth largest bank based on deposits, it launched an extensive education program for its staff about the many advantages of partnering with the SBA in its mission to repeat again as the No. 1 SBA lender in Massachusetts.

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. 

The following is a breakdown of Eastern Bank SBA loans by region:

Location

Loans

Volume

Cape Cod

24

$1.0 million

Greater Boston

78

$8.6 million

Merrimack Valley

26

$1.5 million  

MetroWest

29

$2.5 million

North Shore

117

$6.4 million

South Shore

68

$4.3 million

Total

342

$24.3 million

About Eastern Bank
Founded in 1818 and based in Boston, Eastern Bank is the largest independent and mutually owned bank in New England, with $7.6 billion in assets and more than 90 branches serving communities from the Merrimack Valley to Cape Cod.  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 includes Eastern Wealth Management and Eastern Insurance.

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