Northwest NEWS

June 7, 1999

Business

SBA awards Towne Bank preferred lending status

Towne Bank

Rick Meikle (right) of Towne Bank accepts SBA award from Bob Meredith.

   U.S. Small Business Administration District Director Bob Meredith presented Towne Bank with its Preferred Lending Program (PLP) designation during a ceremony June 2 at the Woodinville office of Towne Bank.

   The designation is the SBA's highest lender status. The bank, which specializes in business banking activities, has been an active lender with the SBA since its founding in 1991.

   "Towne Bank is one of our leading lenders. This status will allow the bank to become a full partner with the SBA working on behalf of our shared clients," Meredith noted.

   With all the credit underwriting done at the bank level, the approval for SBA loans may be made in as little as 24 hours. Towne Bank is one of only 27 financial institutions in western Washington to have earned the PLP designation.

   "As a preferred lender with the SBA, we can be even more proactive in assisting small businesses build or expand their operations," said Rick Meikle, President and CEO of Towne Bank.

   Towne Bank, headquartered in Woodinville, serves customers through six offices and its website (www.townebank.com). A seventh office is scheduled to open in August in Everett. At March 31, the Bank reported $233 million in assets. Towne Bank is a subsidiary of First Washington Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:fwwb).

   To reach Towne Bank's SBA department, call 425-486-2265.