Wells Fargo is America’s top SBA lender for small businesses in 2015

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The FINANCIAL — Wells Fargo & Company approved more SBA 7 loans and dollars for America’s small businesses than any other lender in federal fiscal year 2015 (October 2014 – September 2015), according to recently released U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) data. During the year, Wells Fargo approved 7,254 SBA 7 loans totaling more than $1.9 billion nationwide – an increase of 79 percent in loans and 18 percent in dollars to small businesses compared to the same period a year ago.

“It’s rewarding to know that every SBA loan we approve is helping more American small business owners succeed financially and grow their businesses,” said Donna Serres, head of Wells Fargo’s SBA Lending Division.

“At Wells Fargo, we are proud of our year-over-year growth in the number of SBA loans we have extended as it shows we are meeting the credit needs of even more business owners, particularly smaller, newer businesses and diverse-owned businesses,” said Marc Bernstein, head of Wells Fargo Business Direct, which focuses on making small business loans under $100,000.

In Orlando, Fla., one business that received an SBA 7 loan through Wells Fargo was The Fighter Law Firm. An active military veteran, business owner Thomas Feiter had been renting space for his law firm for several years. The SBA loan provided financing for his firm to purchase and improve an existing office building.

“While I was deployed in the Middle East as part of my military duties, I dreamed of returning home and owning a place for my business,” said Feiter. “Working with Wells Fargo helped me realize that dream and also gave me the opportunity to complete additional improvements to the business, which has yielded greater revenues.”

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Wells Fargo is the No.1 SBA 7 lender in dollars in 13 states – Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, South Carolina, South Dakota and Texas – and the No. 1 SBA 7 lender in number of loans (units) in 16 states – Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Minnesota, Montana, North Carolina, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, South Carolina, South Dakota, Virginia and Wyoming.

“SBA Lending is an important part of Wells Fargo’s support for small businesses because it gives us the ability to provide essential financing for small business customers who may not be able to obtain a conventional loan,” said Serres. “Whether we’re extending an SBA 7(a) loan or referring a business to a lender in the SBA’s Community Advantage Loan program, we want to do everything we can to meet the financial needs of more small businesses in every market and help them propel our economy forward.”

Wells Fargo recently established referral relationships with more than 20 nonprofits and other lenders in cities across the country participating in the SBA’s Community Advantage program. Participants in the SBA’s program specialize in providing hands-on guidance to small businesses and offering credit to qualifying businesses in underserved markets. The referral network is one part of Wells Fargo’s four-point plan to help diverse-owned small businesses become credit-ready, access credit and achieve financial success.

In addition to being the nation’s No. 1 SBA lender, Wells Fargo is America’s No. 1 lender to small businesses in low-and-moderate-income neighborhoods for both loans under $100,000 and under $1 million lending categories, according to the most recent Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) data (2002-2014 CRA data).

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