Press Release


San Francisco, Calif. | Nov 28, 2011

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Bank of the West Plans Additional Small Business Banking Expansion to Meet Continuing Demand in Lending

Bank Will Nearly Double Small Business Unit Again After Recent Growth and Significant Jump in SBA Lending National Rankings

Underscoring its optimistic outlook for the small business sector, Bank of the West said it plans to continue expanding its Small & Medium Enterprise (SME) Banking group after more than doubling its number of bankers and seeing increases in its direct branch loans to small businesses.  The group also reported strong growth in its Small Business Administration lending during the agency's 2011 fiscal year, which led to the creation of more than 1,000 jobs according to SBA statistics.

In the SBA's 2011 rankings, Bank of the West rose to the 37th largest supplier nationally of 7a loans, up from 94th in 2010.  For SBA 504 lending, the bank improved its top ten national ranking, rising to fifth nationally for 2011 versus sixth place in 2010.

During the next year, Bank of the West expects to add more than 50 bankers to the 63 now working on the small business banking team. At the start of 2011, the bank had 36 bankers in the group.

For the year-to-date through September 30, 2011, the bank's direct branch lending to small businesses had risen 88 percent over the same period in 2010, including SBA loans which had increased 113 percent.

"Our small business clients are cautiously taking on debt for the right opportunities, and for the first time in several years are beginning to think seriously about positioning themselves for expansion.  In fact, many of our small business clients are looking to the future and have created jobs by investing in their businesses this year with SBA-financing," said Michelle Di Gangi, executive vice president, Small & Medium Enterprise Banking for Bank of the West. "We are growing our capabilities and work with key lending programs to make sure we can effectively help them make these important financing decisions. We thank our small business clients for the trust they have put in our team, which has led to our rise in the SBA rankings."

The new small business bankers will be concentrated in Northern California, Southern California and Denver markets with others in Oregon, Utah, New Mexico, Omaha and Minneapolis. 

About Bank of the West: 
Founded in 1874, $59 billion-asset Bank of the West (www.bankofthewest.com), member FDIC, offers a full range of personal, commercial, wealth management and international banking services. The bank operates more than 700 retail and commercial banking locations in 19 Western and Midwestern states. Bank of the West is a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, one of the world's largest and best rated banks* with more than 200,000 employees in more than 80 countries.
*Rated AA- by Standard & Poor's as of October 14, 2011

Media Contact: Heather Harper
Vice President, Corporate Communications, Bank of the West
Office: (415) 765-8087
heather.harper@bankofthewest.com

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Media Contacts

  • Jim Cole
  • Corporate Communications
  • Phone: (415) 399-8268
  • Cell: (415) 577-2639
  • Fax: (415) 399-8241
  • E-mail: jim.cole@bankofthewest.com
  • Address: 180 Montgomery Street
  • San Francisco, CA 94104
  • Joel Nathanson
  • Social Media
  • Phone: (415) 399-8286
  • Cell: (415) 722-9722
  • Fax: (415) 399-8241
  • E-mail: joel.nathanson@bankofthewest.com
  • Address: 180 Montgomery Street
  • San Francisco, CA 94104
  • Lily Ruiz
  • Corporate Communications
  • Phone: (415) 765-4850
  • Cell: (415) 846-7494
  • Fax: (415) 399-8241
  • E-mail: lily.ruiz@bankofthewest.com
  • Address: 180 Montgomery Street
  • San Francisco, CA 94104