FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 26, 2006
Marianna Ohe (202) 565-3200
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Comerica Bank will receive the 2006 Small Business Bank of the Year Award from the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) at Ex-Im Bank's annual conference in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, April 6.
Founded in 1849 and long one of Ex-Im Bank's top lending partners, Comerica has, since 1996, booked 121 transactions to support small business exports under Ex-Im Bank's Working Capital Guarantee program. Last year alone, the bank concluded 16 such transactions, totaling $65 million in authorizations through Comerica's offices in the Midwest, California and Texas. As an Ex-Im Bank Delegated Authority lender, Comerica can provide these Ex-Im Bank-guaranteed loans to small business exporters without prior approval from Ex-Im Bank.
We have long viewed Ex-Im Bank as our partner in servicing the needs of small- to mid-size enterprises (SMEs) that are so key to the success of Comerica Bank, said Warren D. Shifferd, senior vice president and director of International Trade Services for Comerica. As our business customers continue to expand their marketplace with a global reach, the ability to use Ex-Im Bank programs to help support their growth becomes even more vitally important.
Noting Comerica's strong relationship focus, Shifferd said Ex-Im Bank's Working Capital Guarantee Program, bank letter of credit policy and insurance programs all enable it to work closely with clients to expand their export opportunities.
Recently, Comerica became one of the first lenders to join Ex-Im Bank's new Fast Track program, which enables small and medium-sized U.S. exporters to obtain larger Ex-Im Bank-guaranteed working capital loans in less time. Experienced lenders who qualify for the program can provide up to $25 million per borrower in Ex-Im Bank-guaranteed working capital financing, subject to a total aggregate limit of $300 million per lender.
As a frequent user of our Working Capital Guarantee program, Comerica Bank has helped us fulfill our mission to strengthen support for small business exports and U.S. jobs, said Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President (Acting) James H. Lambright. We are delighted to recognize their achievements by presenting Comerica with our 2006 Small Business Bank of the Year award.
Ex-Im Bank's 31st annual conference on April 6 and 7 will be held at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. The award ceremony will take place during the April 6 luncheon program which begins at 12:30 p.m. Ex-Im Bank this year marks its 72nd year of helping finance the sale of U.S. exports, primarily to emerging markets throughout the world, by providing loan guarantees, export credit insurance, and direct loans. In fiscal year 2005 Ex-Im Bank authorized nearly $14 billion in transactions supporting almost $17.9 billion in U.S. exports.More than $2.6 billion of the authorizations, or 2,617 transactions, directly supported U.S. small businesses as primary exporters.