BANKING

BofA small business lending increases 78% in R.I. in 2012

BLOOMBERG FILE PHOTO/JIN LEE
BANK of AMERICA Corp. initiated 78 percent more new small business loans in Rhode Island in 2012 than it did in 2011.
Posted 1/24/13

PROVIDENCE – Bank of America Corp. initiated $65.5 million in total new loan production for small business in the Ocean State during 2012, a 78 percent increase from the roughly $37 million in total loan production initiated during 2011.

According to Bank of America spokesperson Donald J. Vecchiarello Jr., these figures are typically for businesses with $20 million or less in annual revenue.

Small business lending in Massachusetts increased 33.5 percent year over year, from $209 million in 2011 to $279 million in 2012, Vecchiarello told Providence Business News.

Nationally, Bank of America reported that it extended nearly $8.7 billion in new credit to small businesses in 2012, a 28 percent increase over 2011 figures.

The Charlotte, N.C.-based bank said that its combined new and renewal small business lending totaled nearly $20 billion during 2012.

As part of its “commitment to small business,” Bank of America also announced that it has reached its goal of hiring more than 1,000 small business bankers across the U.S., four of whom are in Rhode Island and 30 of whom are in Massachusetts.

“With the creation of the small business banker role, Bank of America responded directly to what our clients asked for – locally based small business experts who provide small businesses with the financial solutions necessary to sustain and grow their business,” Robb Hilson, small business executive for Bank of America, said in prepared remarks. “Making local expertise more accessible and enabling our clients’ growth through new credit are essential to how we help them succeed.”

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