U.S. Bank finished the SBA fiscal year on September 30 as a Top 10 lender in both number of loans (2,756; No. 4 nationally) and dollar amount ($423 million; No. 8 nationally). Both figures represent 20% increases over last year, all while overall lending across the industry declined.
SBA loans, which are small business loans partially backed by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), help entrepreneurs expand operations, purchase equipment, transfer ownership, acquire real estate, and more.
U.S. Bank National SBA Division Manager Erik Daniels attributed the results to a consistent and relationship-driven approach, a strong capital position which enables the bank to keep SBA loans in its portfolio, and a continued emphasis on internal process improvements that allowed bankers to spend more time talking to customers.
Daniels said his team continued to focus on building meaningful and holistic customer relationships, bringing to the table additional services such as point-of-sale solutions to accept payments, or personal banking, for example. And as business owners consider their retirement horizons, the bank is positioned to provide wealth management services to handle front-end advisory needs as well as to manage transfer of wealth.
“Our customers are looking for a partner that can handle all of their banking needs and do so with a focus on listening, discovering, and providing high-value service,” Daniels said. “I recently heard from a customer who said they had never encountered anyone in business who took the time and care like their banker. Another customer described one of our bankers as their ‘Virtual CFO’ – that is our true value.”
Resulting from that approach, U.S. Bank finished as the top SBA lender in units in 13 of the 30 districts, the top three in 29 of 30 districts, and top five in every district, defined as where U.S. Bank has physical retail branches:
Daniels also noted that leveraging technology provides more opportunities for expansion. In late October, U.S. Bank opened its first ever retail branch on the East Coast, in Charlotte, North Carolina. The bank is combining strategically located branches with digital tools to enable more time for bankers to meet with customers.
“The technology is the table stakes,” said Daniels. “We will succeed by marrying technology with people.”