WASHINGTON (11/6/15)--In only its first year with a Small Business Administration (SBA) lending program, HawaiiUSA FCU of Honolulu has been named a top SBA lender for fiscal year 2015.
Per a report in Maui Now (Nov. 4), the SBA’s Hawaii District Office reported a 57% increase from fiscal year 2014 in the number of loans to small businesses in Hawaii, Guam and American Samoa.
The SBA’s 7(a) loans can be a useful tool for credit unions, since the SBA will guarantee up to 85% of a loan, and the portion of the loan guaranteed by the SBA does not count against a credit union’s member business lending cap.
HawaiiUSA delivered 218 loans with a total volume of $6.98 million in fiscal year 2015. SBA District Director Jane Sawyer told Maui Now that no lender in the district had ever crossed the 200-loan threshold before.
HawaiiUSA started its SBA program in September 2014, and within the first two months it was outlending banks that were more than triple HawaiiUSA’s asset size. During those two months, HawaiiUSA FCU, with $1.3 billion in assets and 13 branches, was ranked above American Savings Bank ($5.4 billion in assets, 56 branches), Central Pacific Bank ($4.7 billion in assets, 36 branches), First Hawaiian Bank ($18 billion in assets, 57 branches) and Bank of Hawaii ($14.5 billion in assets, 80 branches).
"We were looking at ways to increase our service to the small business market, since many of them are in a 'sweet spot' where their needs weren't big enough to be met by banks, but with our SBA program, we're a perfect partner," Gwen Yamamoto-Lau, HawiiUSA's executive vice president and chief lending officer, told News Now earlier this year. "The MBL cap-exempt parts of our SBA loans have been a huge benefit to us, because it allows us to reach out even further."
The SBA Lender of the Year award is based on the number of 7(a) loans from an institution, with bonus points given for special support of agency initiatives such as veteran or export businesses.