Bankwell Financial Group in New Canaan, Conn., has exited the Small Business Lending Fund.

The $1.2 billion-asset company has redeemed the $10.9 million of preferred shares held by the U.S. Treasury Department, plus accrued dividends. It funded the redemption from a $25.5 million subordinated notes offering.

Bankwell issued the 10,980 shares to Treasury in August 2011 for $1,000 per share.

Many small banks have exited the SBLF program recently because low interest rates are making it more affordable for banks to redeem shares.

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