Facing stiff competition at home and enticed by the potential for quick
San Diego's Bank of Commerce opened three Texas offices in June;
The movement was prompted by heavy loan demand in entrepreneurial
The strategy also lets banks diversify balance sheets outside their home
"It's a cheap way for banks to add revenue," said Hans Schroeder, an
Indeed, there is nothing fancy to SBA lending, bankers say. Most out-of-
No safe, vaults, or teller windows are needed, and all back-office
It's not impossible for the smallest of community banks to plant an SBA
Last summer Frank V. Riolo, president and CEO of Borrego Springs Bank,
"In this small desert town, we had limited growth and loan prospects,"
So the $55 million-asset bank, which is 60% owned by the Viejas Indian
A Borrego Springs lending officer, equipped with cell phone and laptop
Mobile loan officers were sent soon thereafter to Los Angeles and
SBA lending makes up 95% of the bank's business, Mr. Riolo said.
Bank of Commerce, which sets up shop near busy freeways and sprawling
The $717.9 million-asset bank now has its radar set on Boise, Idaho;
"It's a lucrative niche with an active secondary market," said Peter Q.
Government-guaranteed SBA lending programs are uniform-the paperwork
One major obstacle for community banks entering new markets is finding
Both Mr. Davis and Mr. Riolo said they use headhunting firms to find top
These lenders are typically paid salaries of $40,000 to $50,000, plus 1%
The business has become so lucrative that lenders, in some cases, end up
"The day their salary is higher than mine ... I expect to see a raise