First Northern Community Bancorp in Dixon, Calif., has exited the Small Business Lending Fund.

The $1 billion-asset bank has redeemed the $12.8 million of preferred shares held by the U.S. Treasury Department.

Louise Walker, First Northern's chief executive, praised the SBLF fund.

“First Northern Bank had tremendous success with the program, growing its qualifying SBLF loans in excess of 10%,” Walker said in a news release.

“Our financial strength has allowed us to self-fund this final redemption of our SBLF capital while continuing to have capital in excess of the levels necessary to be deemed well-capitalized,” she said.

The holding company for First Northern Bank issued its original 22,847 shares to Treasury in September 2011 for $1,000 per share, according to a Securities and Exchange filing. It redeemed $10 million of those shares in February 2013.

Many small banks have exited the SBLF program recently as low interest rates are providing an affordable way for banks to redeem their shares.

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