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CertusBank strengthens position as SBA lender

Staff Report
Published Feb. 5, 2013

CertusBank said it received regulatory approval and has finalized the acquisition of Quadrant Financial Inc., making the Greenville-based financial institution the top lender of SBA-backed loans headquartered in South Carolina.

The acquisition positions CertusBank to expand its small- to mid-size business platform in the Southeast, co-CEO Walter Davis said when the acquisition was first announced in October.

Cost of the acquisition was not announced.

For the 2012 federal fiscal year ended Sept. 30, Quadrant Financial, a subsidiary of First Chatham Bank, of Savannah, Ga., was the nation’s 22nd largest lender of U.S. Small Business Administration 7(a) loans.

Quadrant Financial’s offices in eight states originated $97.5 million of SBA loans in 2012. In South Carolina, the Savannah firm ranked fifth at the end of the 2012 fiscal year with six loans totaling $9.5 million.

The top SBA lender in South Carolina is TD Bank N.A., headquartered in Portland, Maine, which acquired Greenville-based Carolina First in September 2010. For the 2012 fiscal year, TD Bank had 37 SBA-backed loans worth $25 million.

Quadrant Financial’s founders, CEO John Handmaker and President George Vredeveld, have joined CertusBank’s leadership team for small business.

The SBA’s 7(a) program provides loans to help businesses with special requirements — businesses in rural areas, for example, or businesses that export products. Proceeds may be used to establish a new business or to assist in the acquisition, operation or expansion of an existing business.

SBA lending is more or less a public-private partnership between the federal agency and banks. Businesses may consider an SBA loan when they cannot qualify for a commercial loan.

Under the arrangement, a bank is a preferred lender that makes the credit approval on behalf of the SBA. The borrower also is in a better cash position after closing on a SBA loan.

CertusBank N.A. is a subsidiary of CertusHoldings Inc. and has $1.8 billion in assets, 33 branch locations, five operations centers, and offices in South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia and Florida.

Previous coverage

TD Bank approves $25 million in SBA-backed loans
CertusBank acquires SBA lending firm