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