Lake Sunapee Bank Group in Newport, N.H., has exited the Small Business Lending Fund.

The $1.4 billion-asset bank redeemed $8 million of its remaining preferred shares in the program, according to a Thursday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

"Under the program, we were able to increase our small business lending by more than 40%, funding more than $120 million in qualified small business loans during the initial measurement period, without placing pressure on our underlying capital levels," Stephen Theroux, chief executive, said in a news release.

Lake Sunapee funded the redemption with retained earnings.

Lake Sunapee originally issued $20 million in the SBLF shares to the Treasury Department in August 2011. It is the latest bank to exit the SBLF program as the dividend rate is scheduled to increase to 9% from 1% next year.

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