I am concerned about a story that appeared in the Dec. 12 issue of The Bond Buyer that may have caused some misunderstanding among your readers about Sanwa Bank's ongoing support of its letters of credit for small U.S. municipalities.
In the story, an independent financial adviser to the City of Enid, Okla., who does not represent Sanwa Bank, was quoted as saying that Sanwa officials "said they were going to redline municipalities of under 100,000 population."
Let me stress that that is not the policy of Sanwa Bank.
Sanwa Bank Ltd. has been doing business in the United States since 1953. In that time, Sanwa Bank has developed many strong relationships with municipalities across the United States.
For example, during the past several months Sanwa acted as lead bank for a letter of credit supporting $230 million of bonds to help the District of Columbia finance its budget deficit. Sanwa has provided over $400 million of credit support to statewide school districts.
In addition, Sanwa played a key role in an innovative pooled commercial paper program for several counties in Florida.
Therefore, Sanwa Bank is committed to the U.S. municipal finance market for the long term. Due to the bank's consistent commitment to this business, Sanwa Bank has ranked as one of the largest letter-of-credit-providing banks to a substantial number of municipalities across the United States.
Since your readers represent a very influential audience, we wanted to make sure they received all the facts.