Wells Fargo and Timberline Bank rank among top SBA lenders

Wells Fargo was the top lender in Colorado and Timberline Bank the top lender in Mesa County for a popular government-backed business financing program through the first half of the 2012 fiscal year.

According to figures from the U.S. Small Business Administration office in Denver, Wells Fargo issued 117 loans worth a collective $35.8 million in Colorado through the SBA 7 (a) program.

The SBA doesn’t make direct loans to businesses under the 7(a) program. But the federal agency’s guarantee authority enables lenders to extend financing to businesses that might not qualify under more conventional terms.

U.S. Bank issued 51 loans worth a combined $5.2 million through the first half of the 2012 fiscal year in Colorado. Bank of the West issued 17 loans valued at a total of more than $16 million.

Other lenders with operations in the Grand Valley that issued 7(a) loans included Vectra Bank Colorado, which issued 11 loans worth a total of nearly $2.9 million; Timberline Bank, which issued five loans worth a total of almost $1.6 million, Bank of Colorado, which issued five loans worth $1.1 million; and First National Bank of the Rockies, which issued one loan worth almost $190,000.

In total, Colorado lenders issued 468 loans worth nearly $149 million through the 7(a) program during the first half of the 2012 fiscal year, which ends in September.

In Mesa County, 10 loans worth a total of nearly $3 million were issued. Timberline Bank issued four loans worth a collective $1.5 million. Wells Fargo issued two loans and Bank of the West, First National Bank of the Rockies, U.S. Bank and Vectra Bank Colorado issued one loan each.

Wells Fargo consistently ranks as one of the top SBA lenders in the United States.

Through the first half of the 2012 fiscal year, Wells Fargo was the top SBA 7(a) lender in terms of dollar volume in 12 states. Wells Fargo was the top lender in terms of the number of loans in nine states.

Nationwide, Wells Fargo issued more than $548 million in 7(a) loans — a number announced as the company kicked off its annual small business appreciation celebration.

“During a time of year when we celebrate the importance of small business to our nation’s economic recovery, it’s rewarding for us to meet the financing needs of thousands of small business customers,” said David Rader, head of SBA lending for Wells Fargo. “SBA loans are an important financing tool for many small business owners, and we want to do everything we can to help small businesses stay competitive and grow.”