Mar 2 2015

New Orleans Saints communications executive leaves for Greenbrier resort

Doug Miller, who was executive director of communications for the New Orleans Saints, has left the club for a position with the Greenbrier resort in West Virginia.

He wont be away from the team for long. The Saints will return to White Sulphur Springs, W. Va., in July to conduct training camp at the resort for the second consecutive year.

Miller spent six years with the Saints, according to his team bio. Before joining the Saints, he spent 15 years with the New York Jets in various public relations roles.

Miller will be vice president of sales, marketing, and promotions at the resort, according to a Greenbrier spokeswoman.

Mar 2 2015

Health & Fitness File

Health amp; Fitness File

Roots and Legends Clinic

HOME BIRTH LECTURE: Kimberly Rook of InnerBirth Midwifery shares some of the history and legalities surrounding home birth. Participants will learn why more and more birthing families today are choosing home birth as an option over hospital delivery and what makes midwifery care so unique. There will be time for questions and answers. 1-2:30 pm, Saturday, Feb. 21, Roots and Legends Clinic, 3209 Washington Ave. Free. Call 262- 939-0062 or email rootsandlegends@gmail.com for reservations.

Sealed Air YMCA

LET’S COOK! COMFORT FOODS MADES HEALTHFUL: Demonstration of comfort foods made over using healthful ingredients including confetti meatloaf, sweet potato chili wedges and a green bean casserole without the canned soup. Participants will sample the dishes and take the recipes home to prepare for their families. Advance registration is required 24 hour prior to class. 10 am-noon or 6-8 pm, Wednesday, Feb. 18. Fees: $20 YMCA members, $40 others. To register, go to www.ymcaracine.org.

Mar 1 2015

Auto loan balances hit record $866B in Q4

Americas auto loan balance for new and used vehicles hit a record $866 billion for new and used vehicles, according to Experian Automotive.

That tracks with the boom in new-car sales and with a trend to longer loans that encourage buyers to spend more on vehicles. New car loans now average a record 67.2 months, at an average interest rate about 4.5%, car-shopping and research site Edmunds.com reports. For all of 2014, the average transaction price of a new vehicle was $32,386, Edmunds says.

But despite a lot of discussion about higher-risk borrowers buoying auto sales, thanks to looser lending requirements, loans to the least credit-worthy categories continued to make up about the same share of all loans.

Whenever there is an uptick in the number of loans to sub-prime and deep sub-prime customers, there is the potential for a sky is falling type of reaction, said Melinda Zabritski, Experians director of automotive finance. The reality is we are looking at a remarkably stable automotive-loan market, in part because consumers are continuing to stay on top of their payments.

Sub-prime and deep sub-prime borrowers — those with credit ratings of 501-600 and 500 and lower respectively — accounted for 20.3% of all borrowers in the fourth quarters, a slight decline from 20.6% a year earlier.

Meanwhile. loans to the most credit-worthy borrowers — super-prime (781-850) — accounted for 20% of of all fourth-quarter auto loans and were the only category to increase share in the year.

Experian data also show that even in the place with the highest rate of past-due auto loans — Washington, DC — only 1.47% of auto loans are 60 or more days late.

Places with the highest and lowest rates of auto loans that are 60 days overdue, according to Experian Automotive:

Highest:

Washington, DC — 1.47%

Mississippi — 1.27%

Louisiana — 1.15%

Alabama — 1.03%

South Carolina — 0.99%

Lowest:

North Dakota — 0.33%

Minnesota — 0.39%

Oregon — 0.39%

Washington — 0.4%

Alaska and New Hampshire — 0.44%

Mar 1 2015

Santander Consumer USA Holdings’ (SC) CEO Thomas Dundon On Q4 2014 …

Operator

Good morning and welcome to the Santander Consumer USA Holdings Fourth Quarter 2014 Earnings Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] It is now my pleasure to introduce your host, Evan Black, from the SCUSA Investor Relations team. Evan, the floor is yours.

Evan Black

Good morning everyone, thank you for joining the call. On the call today we have Tom Dundon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer; and Jason Kulas, President and Chief Financial Officer.

Before we begin, as you are aware, certain statements today such as projections for SCUSAs future performance are forward-looking statements. Actual results could be materially different from those projected. SCUSA has no obligation to update the information presented on the call. For further information concerning factors that could cause these results to differ, please refer to our public SEC filings. Also on todays call, our speakers will reference certain non-GAAP financial measures which we believe will provide useful information for investors. A reconciliation of those measures to US GAAP is included in the earnings release issued today, February 3rd, 2015.

For those of you listening to the webcast, there are few user-controlled slides to review as well as a 4Q company update on the Investor Relations website.

Now I will turn the call over to Tom Dundon. Tom?

Thomas Dundon

Thank you and good morning everyone. I will discuss our fourth quarter highlights and ongoing strategic initiatives for 2015. Afterward Ill turn the discussions over to Jason for a detailed review of the quarters results. Well then open the call for any questions you may have.

Fourth quarter results are highlight by strong profitability, during the quarter SCUSA earned net income of $247 million or $0.69 per diluted common share compared to net income attributable to SCUSAs shareholders for the fourth quarter of 2013 of $114 million or $0.33 per diluted common share.

This represents net income growth of 117% from the prior year, driving a return on average equity of 29.1% and return on average assets of 3.1%. In the fourth quarter total originations were $6.1 billion including $565 million in facilitator originations. This compares to total originations of $7.4 billion in the third quarter including $604 million in facilitator origination.

Volumes were seasonally lower in the fourth quarter and we expect ebbs and flows in volume as we constantly seek to optimize origination. While fourth quarter originations decreased, total originations were $27.5 billion up from $20.7 billion in 2013 representing growth of 33%.

We also remained focused on our unsecured lending platform. Our unsecured portfolio balance as of yearend totaled $1.8 billion up from $1.3 billion in the prior quarter. Total originations of $562 million this quarter were approximately even between revolving and installment loans. As the revolving loan originations increased versus the prior quarter consistent with seasonal retailer patterns. We are excited about the opportunities in this space, as it aligns well with our core competencies and has attractive returns.

During the fourth quarter used car prices were covered from the declines earlier in the year as the Manheim index finished the year 2% higher than its lowest point during 2014 and 1.8% higher than in December, 2013. We also view the continued decrease in gas prices is a net positive for our consumers.

However as we stated during our recent Investor Day, we view both used car recoveries and gas prices as secondary factors to our business. While we monitor these trends closely we are focused on operating our business, originating attractive assets to enhance long-term profitability and optimizing the mix of retained assets versus assets sold in service for others.

As we continue to properly execute our strategic objective, we believe these secondary factors will have less than impact on our business and its profitability. In this market were finding that were able to acquire loans and leases with attractive risk adjusted returns and indication that the market is behaving rationally.

Id like to now turn the call over to Jason to review our financial results. Jason?

Jason Kulas

Thank you Tom and good morning everyone. Lets go to the fourth quarter results in more detail. As Tom mentioned net income for the quarter were strong at $247 million, this was driven by net finance and other interest income growth of 13% to $1.1 billion up from $953 million during the same period last year. Of this interest income from individually acquired retail installment contracts increased 14% to $1 billion up from $894 million during the same period last year due to significant growth in the portfolio.

Interest income from unsecured consumer loans grew 36% to $96 million this quarter up from $71 million during the same period last year. Net leased vehicle income increased to $60 million this quarter up from $22 million in the fourth quarter of 2013, as we continue to originate more lease volume as Chryslers preferred lender.

Moving to originations. . As Tom mentioned, we originated $6.1 billion in loans and leases this quarter. During the quarter we originated approximately $2.4 billion in Chrysler retail loans, $1.4 billion of which were prime loans and the remaining $1 billion non-prime.

We also originated $1.3 billion in Chrysler leases which includes $565 million in leases originated for an affiliate. The Chrysler penetration rate at the end of the fourth quarter was 27%, this is slightly below the prior quarter but in line with the same period last year. We remain confident about the ongoing success of our agreement with Chrysler as we strive to support Chryslers sales growth by originating attractive assets consistent with our strategy.

The provision for loan losses decreased to $560 million this quarter down from $770 million last quarter and down from $629 million in the fourth quarter of 2013. The decrease from prior quarter was driven by positive provision model impacts as the forward looking model is no longer capturing two seasonally worse fourth quarters. The provision decrease was also impacted by reduction in allowance for loan loss months coverage.

The overall provision decrease was partially offset by seasonal higher charge-offs as performance deteriorates in the fourth quarter in a pattern consistent with our normal seasonal expectations. The net effect of these factors resulted in a decrease in the allowance to loans ration to 11.5% this quarter from 12.1% last quarter.

The decrease in months coverage also resulted in a positive EPS impact of approximately 11%, however excluding the change in months coverage we are still ahead of our objective for the year.

Turning to credit performance SCUSAs quarterly net charge-off ratio increased to 8.6% from 8.4% last quarter. And from 8.1% during the same quarter last year. The fourth quarter delinquency ratio increased to 4.5% from 4.1% last quarter and remained flat over the same quarter last year, the increase in both ratios quarter-over-quarter follows normal seasonal patterns.

Moving onto expenses during the fourth quarter operating expenses increased 14% to 230 million from 203 million during the fourth quarter of 2013, as we continue to grow our asset base and increased headcount to dedicate additional resources to our regulatory and compliance teams.

Despite these increased cost we continue to demonstrate industry leading efficiency as our efficiency ratio decreased slightly to 19.1% from 19.2% during the same period last year. This is further evidenced by revenue versus expense growth for the full year of 2014 versus 2013.

On a GAAP basis revenue growth lagged expense growth due to one-time IPO cost however excluding costs revenue growth outpaced expense growth. It is important to note as weve discussed in prior quarters, as we continue to focus on growing the capital-light higher ROE serviced for others platform.

We will see an increase in the efficiency ratio. While the ratio will increase overtime we remain very positive about the service for this platform because it drives higher ROEs despite lower margins due to limited credit exposure. We believe this is a business that will enhance our ability to create shareholder value.

Turning now to liquidity, SCUSA demonstrated consistent access to liquidity during the fourth quarter, the execution of $1 billion securitization from our core non prime securitization platform SDOT and a $700 million, also $700 million of additional liquidity from private term amortizing for facilities and an incremental 500 million in warehouse borrowing capacity.

During the quarter asset sales total $1.1 billion down from $2.4 billion last quarter driven by the timing of asset sales. And as previously mentioned we continue to focus on balance sheet management and growth in our serviced for others portfolio going forward.

The portfolio of loans and leases serviced for others totaled $10.3 billion at year-end up from $4.5 billion at prior year-end representing growth of 126%. Investment gains for the quarter which primarily comprise of gains on sale totaled $21 million down from $32 million in the same quarter last year as we did not execute the SDART securitization in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Servicing fee income totaled $20 million for the quarter an increase from $4 million in the fourth quarter last year. Before we begin Qamp;A i would like to turn the call back over to Tom. Tom?

Thomas Dundon

Thanks. Looking back over our first year as a public company in consistent with historical performance, we were able to originate attractive assets and produce strong net income in a competitive environment with increasing regulatory scrutiny. As this regulatory environment becomes more challenging we believe this will continue to brighten a line between us and our competition, as we continue to leverage our compliance Damp;A at approximately 14 years of big bank ownership to further enhance processes related to risk management, governance and internal control.

Core net income for the full year totaled $842 million representing growth of 21% from the prior year. We also exceeded our financial objective for the year as core EPS growth totaled 18%. Total 2014 originations were $27.5 billion representing 33% growth from 2013. Consistent with our strategy to service more assets for others we were able to generate a $189 million of gain on sale and servicing income from this platform, representing growth of 186% versus the prior year.

Managed assets including our serviced for others portfolio totaled $41.2 billion at year-end an increase of 37% from prior year. Looking ahead to 2015 we remain focused on delivering attractive risk adjusted returns. Were excited about the continued opportunities across our franchise including our core nonprime platform, Chrysler relationship, servicing business and unsecured lending platform.

We are determined to make the best use of our capital, allocating resources towards the greatest ROA opportunities or generating recurring fee income via our serviced for others platform.

We are in active discussions with various entities that have expressed interest in our assets and based on this demand were optimistic regarding our serviced for others platform.

With that Id like to open the call for questions. Operator?

Mar 1 2015

Who’s Most Likely to Default on Student Loans?

Millions of Americans are struggling to repay their student loans. But somewhat counterintuitively, those with the smallest balances are struggling the most.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York released research Thursday breaking down student-loan defaults based on how much debt a borrower owed upon leaving school. It divided borrowers into six categories, ranging from those who owed less than $5,000 to those who owed more than $100,000.

Defaults were most common among those with the smallest debt burdens and least common among those with the largest. (The New York Fed defines default in this case as a borrower having gone 270 days with no payment, the standard used by federal government, the primary lender in higher education.)

Among those who owed less than $5,000, one in three had defaulted at some point as of Dec. 31, 2014. Those borrowers made up 21% of the entire pool of those with debt.

The Fed researchers show that the higher the debt burden, the lower the default rate. Those with burdens above $100,000 had the lowest rate at 17.6%.

Why is that? One likely explanation, offered by the New York Fed researchers, is that many Americans with small loan balances are dropouts. They may have attended school for a semester or two without getting a degree. They often don’t end up with the decent-paying job that a college education is supposed to bring, and thus lack the income to repay their debt.

Another possibility is that low-balance borrowers attained credentials such as certificates that don’t lead to the kind of jobs and salaries that a bachelor’s degree does.

By contrast, many borrowers with large loan balances are people who graduated from master’s programs and professional schools–doctors, lawyers–who typically end up with generous salaries. (We said typical, not always. There are plenty of struggling lawyers.)

So while they have the biggest debts, they’re getting the actual returns on their investment and thus are in position to repay their loans. They also may be the most likely to enroll in income-based repayment programs, which many academics say disproportionately benefit high earners.

Related reading:

A New Degree in Architecture, Computers or Health Is Worth More Than Decades of Job Experience

Qamp;A: How Federal Student Loan Forgiveness Works, and Why It’s Booming

Student Loan Defaults Vary Wildly by State

How Student Loans Are Shaping Mortgage Approvals

The Ballooning Cost of Obama’s College-Loan Repayment Program

Student Debt Is Hurting Homeownership For Blacks More than Whites

Wealth, Homeownership Lag for Americans With Student Debt

 

 

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Feb 28 2015

Frontier Communications Corporation Earnings: Growth, Bought by the Truckload

Frontier Communications (NASDAQ: FTR) just reported results for the fourth quarter and full year of fiscal year 2014. Fourth-quarter figures were roughly in line with analyst expectations, and share prices rose slightly on the news in the after-hours session.

The analyst consensus pointed to fourth-quarter revenue of $1.34 billion, yielding bottom-line earnings near $0.05 per share. Frontier fell slightly below both of these targets, as adjusted earnings stopped at $0.04 per share on $1.33 billion in total sales.

The regional telecom added 420,500 broadband subscribers and 191,000 video customers during the quarter. The majority of these additions came from the recently closed acquisition of ATamp;T s (NYSE: T) wireline operations in the state of Connecticut. The deal closed on October 24, about one month into the just-reported quarter.

Backing that one-time adrenaline shot out of Frontiers subscriber totals, the company added 22,000 organic broadband subscribers, while losing roughly 5,000 Frontier-branded video accounts. The company now offers gigabit broadband services in six of its 28 service states, not counting the fiber footprint inherited from ATamp;Ts U-Verse markets in Connecticut.

The Connecticut deal added $216 million to Frontiers fourth-quarter revenue, and also unlocked $165 million of cost-saving synergies right away.

Management did not have much to say about the pending acquisition of wireline operations in Texas, Florida, and California from Verizon (NYSE: VZ) . Expected to more than double Frontiers subscriber counts and revenues on closing, but slated for completion no earlier than the first half of 2016, this game-changing contract is still too distant to affect the next quarter or the current fiscal year in any meaningful way.

Earlier on Thursday, Frontier announced a 5% dividend increase. The new payout of $0.105 per Frontier share is payable on March 31 to investors of record as of March 12. Its Frontiers first dividend increase in more than a decade, as the company instead has preferred lowering its payouts in connection with large service-market buyouts.

We are very pleased to report strong progress in our continuing business as well as an excellent start in Connecticut, said Frontier CEO and chairman Maggie Wilderotter in a prepared statement. Frontier exceeded the high end of our prior guidance range for Free Cash Flow, which translates into continued strength in our dividend payout ratio and a more secure dividend.

Feb 27 2015

Missouri payday lenders shift to installment loans

Payday lending volume in Missouri has declined significantly in recent years, according to a state survey released this month.

On first appearance, the survey would appear to be good news to consumer groups that are fighting to limit the availability of high-interest, short-term loans. They argue the loans lure cash-strapped borrowers into cycles of debt.

But the survey numbers paint an incomplete picture.

While payday loan volume and the number of payday loan storefronts have dropped, the number of consumer installment lenders has surged.

Installment loans in Missouri are typically larger than payday loans and are repaid in installments spread across a period of at least 120 days, rather than being due in full after two weeks, such as with payday loans. Both types of loans can have high interest rates when charges are annualized.

“We have seen a massive increase in the number of products that aren’t classified as payday loans,” said Molly Fleming, who leads a payday loan reform campaign for the PICO National Network. She was heavily involved in a 2012 statewide initiative in Missouri to cap interest rates on loans at 36 percent. The measure, which faced well-financed industry opposition, failed to get on the ballot.

The biannual survey from the state division of finance showed the number of payday loans issued in 2014 had dropped 20 percent since 2012, from 2.34 million loans to 1.87 million loans. That’s well below the 2006 total of 2.87 million. And the number of lenders declined from a 2006 peak of 1,275 to 838, as of Thursday.

But the state doesn’t track consumer installment loans, a product that many lenders are moving to in the face of growing public criticism and regulatory scrutiny.

At the end of 2008, 569 companies were registered as installment lenders. Now, there are 980. Many storefronts across the state offer both products.

Missouri places no caps on interest rates for installment loans, and the state doesn’t track the volume of lending or the typical interest charged on the loans.

Some installment lenders do check borrower credit and income. Interest rates can vary from less than 36 percent, Fleming said, to well into the triple digits.

One of the state’s largest installment lenders, Advance America (also the nation’s largest payday loan company), offers online installment loans with annual interest rates just shy of 300 percent. According to its site, someone who takes out a $1,000 loan in Missouri and repays it in 13 twice-monthly installments would pay $838 in financing charges.

Many state legislatures in recent years have passed measures to rein in payday lending. While Missouri places few restrictions on payday loans, lenders have been wary of eventual action from the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which is expected to soon release draft regulations aimed at limiting payday loans and potentially other types of short-term loans.

As a result, many companies nationwide have shifted their focus to products that fall under less regulatory scrutiny, said Nick Bourke, a researcher at the Pew Charitable Trusts.

Though installment loans don’t come with the balloon payments that so many payday borrowers struggle with, large origination fees and high interest rates are still possible, Bourke said. “In a state like Missouri, the proper protections are not in place.”

Another of the state’s largest payday and installment lenders is Overland Park, Kan.-based QC Holdings, which has about 100 locations in Missouri.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company noted that “higher fees and interest from our longer-term, higher-dollar installment products” was helping offset flagging payday loan revenue, which was in part due to the company’s efforts to transition some payday loan customers to installment loans.

According to the filing, the share of the company’s revenue and profit derived from Missouri dropped slightly through the first nine months of 2014 compared with the year before. The company’s general counsel, Matt Wiltanger, attributed the decline to the migration of customers online, to lenders that he said are often unlicensed and unregulated.

Wiltanger declined to discuss the company’s installment revenue, which had grown by 30 percent through the first nine months of 2014.

Payday lenders have long argued that the demand for their products reflects a lack of access to other forms of credit, and that cracking down on them won’t change the fact that millions of Americans are struggling to make ends meet. Lenders have asserted if federal rule changes make loans unprofitable, it will eliminate the only means of borrowing for some consumers.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau doesn’t have the ability to place interest rate caps on loans, but it can take other steps. Fleming hopes the bureau will require lenders to take into account a borrower’s ability to repay and remove their ability to access a borrower’s bank accounts, among other measures.

Last year, the Missouri Legislature passed a bill that would have prohibited payday loan renewals and would have lowered the fees that could be charged. Consumer advocates said the bill was riddled with loopholes and called it fake reform. Lenders didn’t bother to lobby against it, and Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed it.

According to state data, the typical payday loan is for $310 and carries an annual interest rate of 452 percent once fees are annualized. That translates to a little more than $17 for every $100 borrowed, assuming the loan isn’t rolled over, which leads to more fees. The typical loan is rolled over between one and two times.

A House bill has been filed this session that proposes capping annual interest rates for payday, installment and title loans at 36 percent. Fleming praised the measure, but acknowledged it’s unlikely to go anywhere.

Another bill passed in the House on Thursday could raise the maximum fee that can be charged on loans with terms of more than 30 days, which would include installment loans, from $75 to $100.

Feb 26 2015

Cyclone Marcia clean-up hampered by communications blackout

Up to 400 central Queensland homes may have been inundated by floodwaters in the wake of cyclone Marcia as the recovery effort is stifled by communications problems.

The mayor of Banana shire, which covers a large region south west of Rockhampton, including Biloela, said its disaster co-ordination centre was without phone or internet services at the weekend.

The mayor, Ron Carige, was furious, saying Telstra had promised there wouldn’t be a repeat of the problem that plagued the 2013 flood disaster.

“Thankfully, we haven’t been notified of a major case that has caused injury or loss of life in that period,” he said. “But that doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s just gut-wrenching and a real sense of helplessness … it just leaves you empty.”

Telstra organised a helicopter to drop a generator to a key network site on Sunday and phone services were restored about noon.

But Carige said the communication problems had made it hard to gauge the number of properties inundated by floodwaters.

“We’re getting more all the time. Until people give us as much data as we can get, our estimation is that we’re looking at up to 400, shire-wide,” he said.

Carige said the water had receded quickly on Sunday afternoon, revealing the true impact of the disaster.

“One property alone said they had 100 animals washed away. Kilometres and kilometres of fencing gone,” he said. “How many times can these people pick themselves up?”

Queensland’s premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, announced state-federal disaster recovery funding was available for cyclone and flood victims.

There are still 50,000 properties without power in Rockhampton and Yeppoon, where 1,800 power lines were knocked down by the cyclone’s winds.

In the Northern Territory, emergency workers were continuing to clean up the damage from cyclone Lam in remote communities.

Four remote Indigenous communities were affected by the category-four storm, which hit Elcho Island off the NT’s north coast on Thursday night before turning inland.

The community of Galiwinku sustained the most damage, with about two-thirds of the community’s houses affected, six of which were destroyed.

The chief minister, Adam Giles, said it was too soon to estimate the damage cost or how long it would take to rebuild, after a visit to Elcho Island on Sunday.

The water and sewerage systems were back up and running and residents in Galiwinku and Gapuwiyak were warned to boil water as a precaution.

However those in Milingimbi and Ramingining were told they no longer needed to boil their water.

Emergency teams were progressively restoring essential services and surveying the damage.

A state of emergency will remain in place across the four communities until Tuesday, when it will be reassessed, said the acting police commissioner, Reece Kershaw.

Schools in Nhulunbuy, Yirrkala, Maningrida and Bulman were due to reopen on Monday. Gapuwiyak school would reopen on Tuesday, along with Warruwi school. Schools in Maningrida, Milingimbi and Galiwinku would not reopen until next Monday, Giles said.

Feb 25 2015

Business loans lend an air of influence

Troy

Pioneer Bank is running with the big dogs these days.

The Troy-based bank, the eighth-largest bank in the Capital Region in deposits, has been working diligently in recent years to raise its commercial lending profile.

And Pioneers recent participation in a syndicate of banks that is providing a $350 million line of credit to TAL International Group, one of the worlds largest shipping container leasing companies, reinforces that image.

Pioneer is providing $11 million about 3.2 percent of the entire loan, which was put together by First Niagara Bank of Buffalo.

As is typical with large lines of credit, many banks are sharing the risk.

Pioneer and First Niagara are two of 12 syndicate participants, including major Wall Street players like KeyBank, ING, Wells Fargo and PNC Bank. Pioneer is one of five smaller community banks that are participating, including Bryn Mawr Trust Co. and Fox Chase Bank, suburban Philadelphia banks.

Pioneer CEO Thomas Amell, who started at Pioneer in August 2012, said Friday that Pioneer has become one of the largest commercial real estate lenders in the region and actively participates in commercial loan syndications behind the scenes with much larger banks with New York ties such as First Niagara and MT Bank, which is also based in Buffalo.

They look to us to take a piece of their loans, Amell said. They like to use us because were local, and we can make quick decisions.

Between September of 2011 and September of 2014, commercial and industrial loans at Pioneer more than doubled from $40 million to $86 million, according to Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. data. The banks total loans and leases rose from $528 million to $640 million during that same period.

First Niagara put together the $350 million loan in November. However, Pioneers participation in the loan syndicate wasnt made public until Thursday when TAL included the loan documents in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

TAL, which is based in Westchester County, was founded in 1963 and had nearly $600 million in leasing revenue in 2014. It plans to use the line of credit to refinance debt, purchase equipment and for other general purposes.

lrulison@timesunion.com bull; 518-454-5504 bull; @larryrulison

Feb 24 2015

New lending program helps small businesses get loans

Small Colorado businesses struggling to get off the ground have a big opportunity to get loans through a new Colorado Lending Source program. Peoples Bank has made $3 million available through the program, which makes small loans guaranteed by the US Small Business Administration. These…