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MECHANICS BANK IS AMONG TOP SBA LENDERS IN SF DISTRICT



Richmond, CA, December 11, 2009 -- Mechanics Bank has made the Small Business Administration’s recently announced list of top lenders in its San Francisco District for the 7A and 504 programs. The bank was 8th in number of loans made and 14th in dollar amount in the 7A Program; and 10th in dollar amount in the 504 Program among 504 first mortgage lenders.

Scot Cunningham, Senior Vice President and Manager of Mechanics Bank’s participation in the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loan programs, said, “Among the many participating banks in the San Francisco SBA District, Mechanics Bank’s ranking was higher than many much larger competitors, including Westamerica Bank, Union Bank, Comerica, U.S. Bank, and City National Bank. Our participation is a true reflection of our commitment to continue to support the economic health of the communities where we do business.”

Licensed as a “Preferred Lender” with the SBA, Mechanics Bank can make loan decisions without going directly to the SBA. This gives the bank the ability to render quicker decisions with greater lending flexibility. According to Cunningham, “SBA lending simply allows us to make a wider range of loans and meet more needs.”

The SBA was created in 1953 as an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the nation’s overall economy. The agency works closely with a wide range of lending partners across the country that play a key part in supporting financing for small businesses.

“Small businesses have been particularly hurt by the current economic conditions,” said Cort O’Haver, Mechanics Bank Executive Vice President and head of Corporate Banking. “Banks have restricted and reduced access to credit for a variety of reasons—especially to small businesses viewed as riskier credits. But we firmly believe in this sector of the economy—and that any economic recovery will be led by small business expansion and growth. That’s why it’s important for Mechanics Bank to support small businesses as their trusted, financial partner.”

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About Mechanics Bank:

For more than a century, Mechanics Bank has been committed to helping people build prosperous communities as a trusted financial partner, forging lasting relationships through teamwork, respect and integrity. The $2.7 billion independent bank, headquartered in Richmond, California, offers personal banking, business banking, trust, brokerage and wealth management services through 33 offices across Northern California. Mechanics Bank offers a complete line of SBA products, including the SBA EXPRESS, SBA 7(a), and SBA 504 products. For more information, please visit mechanicsbank.com.