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Banker & Tradesman's Fast 50

Fast50

 


 

Relationship Building And Gateway Cities Play Role In Loan Growth

Financial Institutions Big And Small, Public And Private Enjoy Commercial Loan Growth

By Bram Berkowitz
Banker & Tradesman Staff

The Federal Reserve has hiked interest rates twice this year, but that hasn’t done anything to slow the pace of commercial and residential lending.

The Fast 50, compiled from data collected by The Warren Group, publisher of Banker & Tradesman, reveals the 50 fastest-growing lenders in Massachusetts for the first six months of the year, compared to the same time period a year ago.

In the first six months of 2017, six financial institutions in both the residential and commercial rankings saw their portfolios increase more than 1000 percent in volume from the same time period in 2016.

In comparison, between the first six months of 2015 and the first six months of 2016, only one financial institution in both the residential and commercial side saw an increase over 1000 percent.

Commercial Real Estate

On the commercial side, community banks continued to close on commercial real estate loans at high volumes, enjoying success in an area that they expect to be a big profit driver throughout the rest of 2017.

Connecticut-based Webster Bank grew its commercial real estate loans in Massachusetts from $18.7 million in the first half of 2016 to more than $277 million through the first six months of this year. Other community banks, such as Watertown Savings Bank, Wellesley Bank and Cape Cod Co-operative Savings Bank, also found themselves in the Fast 50.

Sam Pepper Jr., president and CEO of UniBank, which ranked fourth in commercial real estate growth by volume, attributed the bank’s success to past years of relationship building.

The bank, with a market area in greater Blackstone Valley and Worcester, went from making a measly $900,000 in commercial real estate loans through the first six months of 2016 to more than $23.5 million in loan volume this year.

“We are operating in a market that is extremely competitive with significant pricing pressure,” Pepper told Banker & Tradesman. “We developed a good network of contacts over the years and very solid referrals on the real estate side. We have a solid commercial real estate team.”

Pepper said the bank is actively pursuing industrial warehouse projects, office space (class A and B) and loan deals in life science, but is a little more cautious regarding loans in the retail, multifamily and hospitality space.

“Those markets are mature and saturated,” he said, adding that the bank would still consider the right opportunities should they arise in those areas.

Although community banks and credit unions performed well, the most recent Fast 50 also welcomed financial institutions that had been mostly absent at this time last year, including big banks and the nonprofit and public sectors.

The Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation and the Massachusetts Housing Partnership Fund, both nonprofits, as well as MassDevelopment, the state’s quasi-public economic development and financing arm, joined the fray.

MHPF went from originating just over $18 million in commercial real estate loans in the first half of 2016 to more than $43 million in the first half of this year. MHIC jumped from a little more than $2 million to nearly $8.5 million and MassDevelopment went from roughly $3.3 million to $8.8 million this year.

Laura Canter, executive vice president of finance programs at MassDevelopment, said the agency saw significant loan growth in the state’s Gateway Cities.

“There has been more demand for housing and more migration to these cities,” she said, adding that this has made more projects financially feasible for developers.

The city of Brockton, for example, has seen several market rate rental housing projects that would not have been possible a few years ago because rents in the area couldn’t support construction costs, she said. And banks are bullish on the market, she said, offering more opportunities to partner with MassDevelopment on economic development projects.

“The economic outlook remains good and rents have been there to support that,” Canter said.

Big banks were another group that flexed their muscles this year, as they increased their small business lending nationwide.

J.P. Morgan was the only big player to make the Fast 50 last year, lending roughly $40 million in commercial real estate loans in the first six months of 2015 and $53 million for the same time in 2016. This year, Wells Fargo, RBS Citizens Bank and Bank of America all cracked the list, and in big ways.

Wells Fargo went from making around $155 million in commercial real estate loans in Massachusetts during the first six months of 2016 to more than $1.1 billion through the same time this year. BofA went from over $536 million in 2016 to more than $1.1 billion this year.

Residential Real Estate

Although perhaps not making the same noise as commercial real estate, residential real estate had another strong showing.

There were a lot of mortgage lenders and out-of-town institutions in the mix, and no Bank of Americas, but Massachusetts community banks such as KeyBank, Bank of New England, MutualOne Bank, Methuen Co-operative and Randolph Savings Bank, among others, made the list.

Steve Lowell, president and CEO of Monson Savings Bank, which saw its residential lending in 2017 reach nearly $60 million, almost doubling from the same time period in 2016, said the preparation the bank did in prior years is now paying dividends.

“We knew the refinancing market was going to disappear and it finally has. Everybody has been refinancing for last five or seven years because interest rates are so low,” Lowell said. “It’s been a challenge because inventory is low and the refi market has finally disappeared, but we have been focusing on building strong broker relationships. … We are trying to stay ahead of the game.”

Looking ahead, Lowell said he thinks the economy will get “hotter and hotter,” with some getting priced out of the market and qualified applicants becoming harder to find.


The Fast 50 ranks the 50 fastest-growing loan providers in Massachusetts, including mortgage and financial companies, banks, credit unions and other financial institutions. Rankings compare the number of loans through June 2016 to the number of loans made through June 2017, and the volume of loans through June 2016 to the volume of loans through June 2017. Rankings include purchase and non-purchase loans. Commercial rankings had a minimum of three loans in 2016 and a minimum of $1 million in loan volume in 2017. Residential rankings had a minimum of 10 loans in 2016 and a minimum of $2 million in volume in 2017. Residential includes one- to four-families and condominiums. All rankings are statewide. All data is sourced by The Warren Group from public records, which may contain errors. For more information please contact Data Solutions at 617-896-5365.

Residential: Volume of Loans

     

Lender 2016 2017 %Change
1. Branch Banking & Trust Co. $225,408 $30,151,130 13276.25%
2. Sun Mortgage Co. Inc. $216,000 $12,686,389 5773.33%
3. Huntington National Bank $1,382,810 $61,719,700 4363.35%
4. Draper and Kramer Mortgage Corp. $1,201,000 $32,661,499 2619.53%
5. Key Bank N.A. $2,109,140 $30,988,852 1369.26%
6. Florida Capital Bank $442,611 $5,222,854 1080.01%
7. Grand Coast Capital Fund 1 LLC $767,000 $8,365,000 990.61%
8. Energy Credit Union $737,000 $5,794,100 686.17%
9. BBMC Mortgage LLC $912,650 $6,873,230 653.11%
10. Cathay Bank $3,985,000 $26,367,700 561.67%
11. Homebridge Financial Services Inc. $33,277,636 $196,017,483 489.04%
12. LendUSA LLC $14,293,607 $74,535,695 421.46%
13. eMortgage Management LLC $9,105,578 $47,346,841 419.98%
14. Bank of New England $6,830,401 $35,286,700 416.61%
15. Provident Bank $2,073,000 $10,409,138 402.13%
16. East West Bank $8,128,200 $32,077,644 294.65%
17. MutualOne Bank $39,224,377 $150,839,029 284.55%
18. First Boston Associates $1,597,000 $5,691,648 256.40%
19. Stage Point Fund LLC $1,566,000 $5,570,000 255.68%
20. Equitable Cooperative Bank $4,486,600 $15,882,175 253.99%
21. Dunegrass Capital LLC $1,790,000 $5,369,000 199.94%
22. Westfield Bank $9,466,776 $26,423,741 179.12%
23. Methuen Cooperative Bank $3,090,500 $8,622,800 179.01%
24. Randolph Savings Bank $63,398,278 $174,231,502 174.82%
25. Land Home Financial Services Inc. $4,125,103 $11,299,073 173.91%

      

Residential Number of Loans
Lender 2016 2017 % Change
1. Homebridge Financial Services Inc. 116 595 412.93%
2. East West Bank 15 63 320.00%
3. LendUSA LLC 57 235 312.28%
4. eMortgage Management LLC 45 171 280.00%
5. Stonegate Mortgage Co. 13 48 269.23%
6. Equitable Cooperative Bank 20 72 260.00%
7. Land Home Financial Services Inc. 14 47 235.71%
8. Summit Capital Management LLC 10 29 190.00%
9. Randolph Savings Bank 214 618 188.79%
10. Lowell Community Loan Fund Inc. 15 41 173.33%
11. Westfield Bank 68 175 157.35%
12. Movement Mortgage LLC 69 168 143.48%
13. Broker Solutions Inc. 29 67 131.03%
14. Caliber Home Loans 148 341 130.41%
15. Mortgage Lender of America LLC 15 34 126.67%
16. Methuen Cooperative Bank 15 34 126.67%
17. First National Bank 13 28 115.38%
18. St. Michaels Credit Union 15 31 106.67%
19. Envoy Mortgage LTD 161 314 95.03%
20. County Mortgage LLC 19 36 89.47%
21. NFM Inc. 49 92 87.76%
22. Paramount Residential Mortgage Group Inc. 45 84 86.67%
23. Boston Redevelopment Authority 22 41 86.36%
24. Southcoast Health Federal Credit Union 22 41 86.36%
25. Global Equity Finance Inc. 21 39 85.71%

Commercial Volume of Loans
Lender 2016 2017 %Change
1. Huntington National Bank $640,000 $107,100,000 16634.38%
2. St. Michaels Credit Union $108,500 $5,455,000 4927.65%
3. UniBank for Savings $901,000 $23,677,663 2527.93%
4. Newtek Small Business Finance Inc. $271,000 $6,516,000 2304.43%
5. Webster Bank $18,681,604 $277,027,367 1382.89%
6. Troy Security Corp. $1,725,000 $19,120,040 1008.41%
7. Provident Bank $3,202,500 $29,295,092 814.76%
8. Wells Fargo Bank NA $155,622,551 $1,136,478,813 630.28%
9. RBS Citizens Bank NA $131,863,855 $862,747,200 554.27%
10. Greystone Servicing Corp $6,989,000 $45,555,000 551.81%
11. Watertown Savings Bank $1,005,000 $5,557,000 452.94%
12. Rockland Credit Union $3,142,000 $15,838,000 404.07%
13. Walker & Dunlop LLC $21,498,000 $103,873,100 383.18%
14. M&T Bank NA $14,600,000 $65,723,750 350.16%
15. Massachusetts Housing Investment Corp. $2,035,000 $8,485,000 316.95%
16. Pawtucket Credit Union $1,977,750 $8,180,601 313.63%
17. New England Certified Development Corp. $3,095,000 $12,489,001 303.52%
18. Red Mortgage Capital LLC $30,828,800 $119,703,800 288.29%
19. Savers Cooperative Bank $10,559,100 $39,433,450 273.45%
20. Lee Bank $4,839,892 $15,506,678 220.39%
21. Cape Cod Cooperative Bank $6,429,226 $20,392,115 217.18%
22. The Savings Bank $2,729,100 $8,527,650 212.47%
23. MountainOne Bank $15,217,663 $46,880,000 208.06%
24. Westfield Bank $26,382,243 $80,484,155 205.07%
25. Merchants Bank & Trust $5,456,180 $15,847,400 190.45%

Commercial Number of Loans
Lender 2016 2017 Percent Change
1. United Shore Financial Services LLC 3 13 333.33%
2. Greystone Servicing Corp. 4 15 275.00%
3. Rockland Credit Union 4 15 275.00%
4. Randolph Savings Bank 7 26 271.43%
5. Cape & Islands Community
Development Inc.
4 13 225.00%
6. Webster First Federal Credit Union 7 21 200.00%
7. New England Certified
Development Corp.
8 22 175.00%
8. Braintree Cooperative Bank 3 7 133.33%
9. Coastal Heritage Bank 7 15 114.29%
10. Florence Bank 11 23 109.09%
11. Merrimack Mortgage Co. Inc. 3 6 100.00%
12. MassDevelopment 4 8 100.00%
13. Workers Credit Union 6 12 100.00%
14. Belmont Savings Bank 11 22 100.00%
15. Residential Mortgage Services Inc. 14 27 92.86%
16. RBS Citizens Bank NA 34 65 91.18%
17. Bank of New England 17 32 88.24%
18. Avidia Bank 43 79 83.72%
19. The Savings Bank 10 18 80.00%
20. Cape Cod Cooperative Bank 17 30 76.47%
21. Boston Community Loan Fund Inc. 4 7 75.00%
22. Watertown Savings Bank 4 7 75.00%
23. Pawtucket Credit Union 7 12 71.43%
24. Red Mortgage Capital LLC 3 5 66.67%
25. Metro Credit Union 12 20 66.67%

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