Signature Bank in New York hired a BankUnited executive and four salesmen and underwriters for its new direct commercial-vehicle financing business.

The $28.6 billion-asset bank named James Collins director of commercial dealer vehicle finance. Collins was previously the Northeast regional sales director for indirect and specialized lending at BankUnited. For the same group, Signature also hired former bankers at NFB Funding and BankUnited for various roles.

The commercial vehicle team will be based in Signature's specialty finance division office in Melville, N.Y., and will focus on sales in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. The group will provide financing through commercial vehicle dealerships and will target small and mid-sized businesses looking to upgrade fleets of trucks and vans.

Separately, Signature Bank hired seven salesmen and an underwriter from various banks, including GE Capital and BB&T, for its commercial equipment and franchise financing businesses.

Also last week, Signature formed a municipal finance unit and expanded its bankruptcy services group.

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