SOURCE: U.S. Century Bank

August 07, 2009 15:48 ET

U.S. Century Bank Participates in TARP

The Miami-Based Bank Will Use the $50.2 Million of Federal Funds to Expand Lending and Help Speed Local Economic Recovery

MIAMI, FL--(Marketwire - August 7, 2009) - U.S. Century Bank, one of South Florida's strongest community banks, today announced it has participated in the U.S. Department of the Treasury's TARP Capital Purchase Program by receiving $50.2 million of funds. Under the voluntary Capital Purchase Program, participating U.S. financial institutions are encouraged to build capital and increase the flow of financing to businesses and consumers in order to support and speed the recovery of their local economies.

U.S. Century Bank was approved to receive TARP funds during the first quarter of the year after examiners found the bank to be healthy. "At the time, we decided to delay acceptance in an effort to completely understand and appreciate its impact on the institution," said Octavio Hernández, vice chairman, president and CEO of U.S. Century Bank. "After careful review and consideration, we acknowledge that by accepting the funds, this will result in a capital boost for the bank. This additional capital will enable us to maintain our strong capital position, continue our course of profitable growth and meet the loan demand from quality business borrowers in our community," he added.

"This represents an important recognition for U.S. Century Bank as it acknowledges our strength, stability and good standing as a strong and healthy financial institution. This additional capital will allow us to explore new market opportunities which will arise in the coming months, and supports an already successful strategy of continuing to help our local communities grow through smart, responsible lending," said Ramon E. Rasco, U.S. Century Bank Chairman. "As it is, U.S. Century Bank is one of the few local institutions that is actively lending in this community. In the last quarter alone, the bank made more than $110 million in loans to local businesses. The TARP funds will allow us to increase lending to local creditworthy businesses therefore expediting the recovery of our local economy," he added.

Approved in October of 2008, under the TARP assistance program, the U.S. Treasury has bought more than $200 billion in preferred stock and warrants in banks across the country. The program was designed to enhance the banks' ability to make new loans by bolstering their capital ratios. The goal of the program is to assist healthy banks, empowering them to support the recovery of the banking industry in general. To date, 655 financial institutions across the country were approved to receive TARP funds. U.S. Century Bank is only one of two private community banks in South Florida to be accepted.

Established in 2002, U.S. Century Bank is one of the 10 largest community banks headquartered in Miami, with assets of $1.8 billion. Through its network of 24 branch locations and its online banking platform, it offers its customers a wide range of financial products and services. U.S. Century Bank is the recipient of the 2008 Beacon Award in Financial Services and a 2009 and 2008 Outstanding Minority Business Award from the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce. It has received the highest ratings from independent bank analysis agencies. For more information or to find a U.S. Century branch near you, call (305) 715-5200 or visit www.uscentury.com.

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