Webster Financial Corp. announced Monday that it plans to expand its business banking portfolio by $400 million in the coming year.

The $17.8 billion-asset company said in a press release that this expansion would put it on track to originating more than $850 million in new business loans this year.

It appears Webster, of Waterbury, Conn., tapped the brakes on such loans in 2009. Data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. show that its Webster Bank unit held $2.93 billion of commercial and industrial loans at Sept. 30, down 12% from a year earlier.

"Our economy is at an inflection point and poised to resume growth," said James C. Smith, Webster's chairman and chief executive, in a statement. "We believe we have a special responsibility to provide the credit that businesses in our region need to grow and get Americans back to work."

Webster received a $115 million capital infusion from the private-equity firm Warburg Pincus last year. It also received $400 million from the Treasury Department's Troubled Asset Relief Program.

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