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

Bank named top small business lender in New England for fourth consecutive year

BOSTON, Oct. 22, 2013 – For the fifth consecutive year, Eastern Bank outpaced larger competitors to rank as the No. 1 U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) lender in Massachusetts. Eastern Bank was also named the No. 1 SBA lender in New England for the fourth consecutive year, the bank announced today.

Eastern Bank made 431 SBA loans in Massachusetts totaling more than $22 million, according to the SBA’s Boston District Office. In addition, Eastern ranked No. 1 in the origination of 504 SBA first mortgage loans for the third consecutive year with 19 loans worth $12.2 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 ranked No. 1 in the number of SBA loans originated and dollar amount in Massachusetts. Eastern’s 450 SBA loans created 669 jobs and retained 1,387 jobs, according to SBA data self-reported by the bank. It also ranked first in the number of SBA loans originated (450 loans) in New England for the fourth consecutive year.

“Eastern Bank is proud to lead Massachusetts and New England in lending to small businesses, which create jobs and keep our economy moving forward,” said Richard E. Holbrook, chairman and CEO of Eastern Bank. “We are focused on helping businesses and consumers succeed – that’s our role in the market and it should be the role of every bank.”

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.

“We are very fortunate to have banks like Eastern Bank that are so committed to their small business customers and the communities they serve,” said Bob Nelson, Massachusetts SBA District Director. He added, “Their contributions on behalf of small business are significant and have major economic impact here in the Commonwealth and across New England. Congratulations to Eastern Bank on this outstanding achievement.”

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 and New England.

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 in Massachusetts:

Location Loans Volume
Cape Cod 70 $2.50 million
Boston Metro 69 $4.22 million
Merrimack Valley 53 $2.67 million
Metro West 48 $3.61 million
North Shore 121 $6.21 million
South Shore 70 $2.50 million
Total 431 $22.59 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 more than $8 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, visit www.easternbank.com, www.facebook.com/easternbank and www.twitter.com/easternbank.

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