ConnectOne Bancorp in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., has exited the Small Business Lending Fund program.

The $4 billion-asset company redeemed about $11.3 million of preferred stock, according to a Monday news release. ConnectOne had issued the shares to the Treasury Department in September 2011.

ConnectOne funded the redemption from a portion of the proceeds of a $50 million issuance of subordinated debt from June.

ConnectOne faced a spike in the SBLF stock's dividend rate, as it was scheduled to rise to 9% from 1%. The Treasury Department introduced the SBLF in 2010 to provide capital to banks in an effort to boost small-business lending. About 90 banks still held SBLF capital at the end of February.

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