Five Questions With: Hal Horvat

Hal Horvat is executive vice president and chief lending and retail officer at Centreville Bank. The West Warwick-based bank was recently recognized for having the highest dollar amount of 504 loans through the U.S. Small Business Administration. The bank made 14 loans totaling $15.3 million.

Horvat talks with Providence Business News about the SBA lending year, how it fits into the bank’s overall loan strategy and what it means for the bank’s future.

PBN: What does receiving this type of recognition from the SBA mean for the bank?

HORVAT: We are proud to be the leading SBA 504 lender in Rhode Island. This award helps validate the work we have been doing to grow our commercial lending business and help local businesses expand.

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PBN: How does SBA lending fit into Centreville Bank’s overall lending strategy?

HORVAT: It augments our overall strategy to be a business lender of choice in the greater Rhode Island market area.

PBN: Why did the bank have such success with 504 loans, specifically?

HORVAT: Over the last few years, we have expanded our capacity by hiring commercial lenders who have significant experience with this program. In particular is Doug Hanson, who joined us in 2016. Doug has consistently been one of the top SBA 504 lenders in the state, and he has been sharing his knowledge with other lenders on our team.

PBN: Does the demand for this type of loan tell you anything about the local economy?

HORVAT: SBA 504 loans are designed to help companies that are expanding, and the increased interest in them is a signal that business is poised to accelerate in Rhode Island. Business owners, including some who were reticent about expansion just a few years ago, are showing strong interest in exploring all the financing options that are available to them. The 504 program is one of a number of products offered by Centreville Bank that help businesses and real estate investors grow.

PBN: Will SBA lending continue to be a focus for the bank in the upcoming year?

HORVAT: Definitely. We have invested a significant amount of expertise in the SBA 504 program because we have great confidence in the program, and our customers do as well.

Eli Sherman is a PBN staff writer. Email him at Sherman@PBN.com, or follow him on Twitter @Eli_Sherman.