• Washington Trust Bancorp, Inc.
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  • SBA Approves Washington Trust's Preferred Lender Status Expansion into Massachusetts and Connecticut
    Company Release - 12/08/2004 13:57

    WESTERLY, R.I.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 8, 2004--The U.S. Small Business Administration has granted The Washington Trust Company Preferred Lender Program (PLP) status in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Washington Trust already has PLP status in Rhode Island, so the Bank will now have the authority, as a preferred lender, to make SBA loans through the Rhode Island District Office, the Massachusetts District Office, and the Connecticut District Office.

    "Washington Trust is committed to helping small businesses start up, prosper and grow," stated John C. Warren, Washington Trust Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "By expanding our SBA lending authority into Massachusetts and Connecticut, we can help even more businesses in our market area."

    "Washington Trust is one of the top SBA lenders in Rhode Island," said acting SBA New England Administrator Mark S. Hayward. "Because Washington Trust has demonstrated its commitment to the small business market in Rhode Island, SBA has approved them for expansion into Massachusetts and Connecticut. Their status as a preferred SBA lender will enable the bank to significantly speed up the loan approval process for their customers."

    The Preferred Lenders Program (PLP) is part of SBA's process of "streamlining" the procedures necessary to provide financial assistance to the small business community. Under PLP, the SBA delegates loan approval, closing, and most servicing and liquidation authority and responsibility to carefully selected lenders. SBA checks loan eligibility criteria under this program.

    PLP lenders are nominated based on their historical record with the Agency. They must have demonstrated a proficiency in processing and servicing SBA-guaranteed loans. The credit criteria for PLP loans are the same as that for the CLP and/or the Regular 7(a) program. In the event of payment default by the borrower and the need for enforced collections, the PLP lender agrees to liquidate all business assets before asking SBA to honor its guaranty.

    For more information about the SBA's preferred lender program, visit SBA's website at www.sba.gov.

    Washington Trust Bancorp, Inc. is the parent company of The Washington Trust Company, a Rhode Island chartered bank founded in 1800. The Bank offers a full range of financial services, including trust and investment management, through its offices in Rhode Island and southeastern Connecticut. Washington Trust Bancorp, Inc.'s common stock trades on The NASDAQ Stock Market(R) under the symbol WASH. Investment information about the Corporation is available at www.washtrust.com.

        CONTACT: The Washington Trust Company
                 Elizabeth B. Eckel, 401-348-1309
                 Senior Vice President, Marketing
        SOURCE: The Washington Trust Company