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Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Andrew Yarrow, 202.565.3200

Bank of America, whose headquarters is in Charlotte, N.C., received the 2003 Small Business Bank of the Year award from the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) at Ex-Im Bank's 2003 annual conference in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, April 22.

Bank of America, the largest retail bank in the United States, has more than two million small-business clients and has more than 60,000 outstanding loans to businesses with less than $1 million in annual revenues-twice as many as the number two provider of small business loans. Bank of America is also the country's largest Small Business Administration lender.

We are delighted to receive this prestigious award from Ex-Im Bank, said Cheryl Sill, Bank of America's senior vice president, treasury management executive for trade. Bank of America is pleased to continue its longtime partnership with Ex-Im Bank to enable our U.S. clients to expand their export business around the globe. Bank of America believes in helping small business clients attain their goals, and Ex-Im Bank programs are an integral part of our success in attracting and meeting the needs of small business clients.

During the 2002 fiscal year, Bank of America, whose Ex-Im Bank working capital guarantee program is based in Miami, Fla., approved nearly $110 million in Ex-Im Bank working capital guarantee facilities to 42 clients, supporting more than $422 million in export sales. Thirty-six of these clients were small businesses, and the volume of small business export sales supported under this program increased 46 percent from the previous year to $365 million.

Ex-Im Bank is the official export credit agency of the United States. Ex-Im Bank provides export credit insurance, guarantees, and loans to support U.S. exports, particularly to developing markets, around the world. In fiscal year 2002, Ex-Im Bank authorized financing to support nearly $13 billion of U.S. exports worldwide. More than 85 percent of the Bank's 2,500 transactions last year involved small businesses.

Ex-Im Bank's two-day annual conference on April 22 and 23 will include specialized workshops, speeches, and exhibits on export finance and trade to help U.S. exporters expand their sales to foreign markets.