Howard Bancorp, Inc. (OTC, Electronic Bulletin Board: HBMD), the parent company of Howard Bank, today announced that it has received preliminary approval to receive an investment of up to $12.5 million in the Company's preferred stock from the United States Department of the Treasury under the Small Business Lending Fund (the "SBLF"). The SBLF is a program created by the US Treasury exclusively for qualifying community banks and is intended to encourage small business lending by providing Tier 1 capital to those qualified banks at favorable rates.
In connection with the investment, the Company will use $6.3 million of the SBLF funds to redeem all of the outstanding shares of preferred stock issued to the Treasury under the Capital Purchase Program. The resulting net increase of up to approximately $6.2 million of additional capital will allow Howard Bancorp to support its continued growth.
Subject to review of the SBLF documentation and final due diligence by the Treasury, the Company expects to seek the full amount of the approved investment. Closing is expected to occur within approximately 30 days.
Chairman and CEO Mary Ann Scully noted: "The small business lending targeted by the SBLF program represents a significant portion of Howard Bank’s existing loan portfolio, as well as being the primary focus of our projected growth. This capital will bolster our increased lending to the small to medium sized businesses in the Greater Baltimore marketplace and we look forward to continuing to support local businesses as they successfully navigate through these difficult economic times. In addition, the increased capital enhances our already strong balance sheet and our regulatory capital ratios, which are already well in excess of required minimums."This press release contains statements that are forward-looking, as that term is defined by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 or the Securities and Exchange Commission in its rules, regulations, and releases. The Company intends that such forward-looking statements be subject to the safe harbors created thereby. All forward-looking statements are based on current expectations regarding important risk factors, including but not limited to real estate values, local and national economic conditions, and the impact of interest rates on financing. Accordingly, actual results may differ from those expressed in the forward-looking statements, and the making of such statements should not be regarded as a representation by the Company or any other person that results expressed therein will be achieved. The Company does not undertake, and specifically disclaims any obligation, to publicly release the result of any revisions that may be made to any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of such statements or to reflect the occurrence of anticipated or unanticipated events.