First Partners Bank in Birmingham, Ala., and Highlands Bancorp in Vernon, N.J., have both issued subordinated debt, as part of their plans to exit the Small Business Lending Fund program.

The $244 million-asset First Partners raised $5.5 million in a private placement, according to a Tuesday press release. It plans to exit SBLF, pending regulatory approval. First Partners issued $5.2 million of preferred shares to the Treasury Department's SBLF program in July 2011.

"Because this capital is set to reprice to a higher rate in early 2016, we found it prudent to refinance," First Partners Chief Financial Officer Kenneth Till said in the release.

The $299 million-asset Highlands raised $7.5 million, through a subordinated debt issuance to Community Funding CLO, according to a Wednesday news release. Highlands issued about $6.9 million of preferred shares in September 2011 to the Treasury Department.

In addition to redeeming its SBLF preferred stock, Highlands will use the proceeds to top off its regulatory capital levels and to fund further growth in New Jersey.

Banks Street Partners was financial adviser to First Partners. Balch & Bingham was legal counsel.

FIG Partners was placement agent for Highlands. Windels Marx was legal counsel.

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