BEND, Ore., Jan. 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- One year ago, Bank of the Cascades President and CEO Terry Zink publically pledged $1 billion in credit and loans to support the communities served by the Bank in Oregon and Idaho. The goal was to identify opportunities for the Bank to work together with business owners and consumers to strengthen local economies. Making good on his pledge, Zink announced this week that the Bank is on track, having achieved 1/3 of the three-year $1 billion lending pledge in 2012. The Bank delivered more than $300 million in small business, mortgage, consumer and commercial loans throughout Oregon and Idaho last year. "We have experienced significant increases in both the number of loans and the dollar amounts of loans delivered in 2012," said Zink. "It's a positive step in the right direction for our communities as local business owners and consumers work toward sustainable economic health." Responding to the advantages of a low rate environment and an improving housing market, the number of mortgage loans delivered by Bank of the Cascades tripled in 2012 at 839 compared to 263 in 2011. In 2012, refinancing and growing home purchases fueled the Bank's mortgage lending to a total of $158 million. In a continued effort to meet the home loan needs of its customers, Bank of the Cascades plans to hire 10 additional mortgage lenders to serve its Portland, Southern Oregon and Boise/Treasure Valley markets. "Expanding our team with trusted lending expertise outside of Central Oregon is an important piece of the puzzle," said Zink. "We want to make sure that Portland, Salem, Southern Oregon and the Treasure Valley have access to local mortgage experts who know and understand the markets. This is important to us as a community bank because our decision makers are on-site and available to work directly with customers." During the month of September 2012, Bank of the Cascades ranked number two on the Marketrack Lending Profile as compared to 43 rd in 2011. "We're on this list with some of the biggest industry players," said Vice President and Mortgage Center Manager Lance VanSooy. "It's a perfect example of our ability to provide competitive products with the personal service of a local bank." On the business lending side, Bank of the Cascades has re-opened its Small Business Administration (SBA) department under the direction of Executive Vice President and Chief Lending Officer Walt Krumbholz and new SBA Lending Manager Cathie Hendrix. In 2012, the Bank delivered $5,695,842 in SBA loans as part of its commitment to provide credit opportunities to grow small business. "Business owners are starting to recover from the financial challenges of the past few years and they are beginning to explore expansions and other opportunities," said Krumbholz. "We are looking forward to helping them meet their goals."