The SBA Loan Numbers Behind Obama’s Community Banker Nominee to Head SBA


January 15, 2014

By Bob Coleman
Editor, Coleman Report

President Obama has chosen a community banker whose niche is the Los Angeles Hispanic community, Maria Contreras-Sweet, as his nominee for SBA Administrator.

I’ll defer to this great write-up by Kent Hoover of the Business Journal for her background.

She is the co-founder and chair of Promerica Bank, cofounder of a private equity fund, and past head of the California Department of Business, Transportation and Housing Agency.

I personally love the fact that a banker who has worked to get capital to an underserved section of Main Street has been nominated. It is fantastic she knows how to spell 504 and 7(a). And being Chair of a small bank, which is also a small business, she is very aware of the regulatory and market pressures facing small business lenders, and small business owners today.

This report focuses on the SBA loan stats.

The bank she co-founded, ProAmérica Bank is small. $148 million in assets with a loan portfolio of $108 million.

Started in 2006, the bank has approved 57, SBA 7(a) loans for $25 million through the end of the fed’s fiscal 2013 year.

Four of those loans have been charged off – $1.3 million was SBA’s share.

If you annualize the losses, the number is right at 1% a year, a very respectable performance stat.

On the 504 side, the bank has funded 12 loans for $10 million. None of the loans have been charged off as of September 30.

That’s not a lot of loan volume, the bank failed to make the Coleman Report 500, the listing of the top 500 SBA 7(a) lenders last year.

However, quality is always better than quantity.

The numbers support a narrative of competence for the nominee.