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CRESTAR ANNOUNCES PROGRAM TO INCREASE LOANS TO SMALL BUSINESSES

 RICHMOND, Va., July 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Crestar Bank has launched an intensified program to make credit more available and accessible to small businesses in its market area of Virginia, Washington and suburban Maryland. The effort includes:
 -- The earmarking of at least $200 million for loans to small businesses in Crestar's four banking regions (headquartered in Richmond, Norfolk, Roanoke and Washington). Currently, Crestar has approximately $700 million in loans outstanding to businesses with annual sales under $2 million.
 -- A concerted sales campaign over the next 60 days, involving in- person calls on more than 2,500 small businesses, to be coordinated out of Crestar's network of 307 branches.
 -- Streamlining the application process required for small business loans.
 -- A regional radio advertising campaign to broaden awareness in the marketplace of Crestar's business loan products.
 "As the impact of the recession on banks and their customers recedes, successful small businesses are once again emerging as a prime engine of economic growth in our region," noted James M. Wells III, president of Crestar Bank, who kicked off the drive today. "There's no substitute for bank loans as the fuel for that engine."
 Pointing out that serving smaller companies has been an important part of Crestar's business for many years, Wells said the bank's commitment to step-up lending to qualified small business borrowers reflects its increased capacity to accommodate additional loan growth in a post-recession environment. He also noted that the decision to embark on this program reflects feedback from the small business marketplace.
 "In the wake of the recession, some customers have been telling us they're uncertain about the availability of bank credit and about our willingness to make loans," Wells said. "What we're saying with this program is that we have money to lend to qualified borrowers and we're ready to lend it."
 The small business loan program is the latest move by Crestar to address the needs of smaller businesses. Late last year, Crestar established Business Loan Centers in each of its regions to provide a focal point for credit services for firms served by local branches.
 With $12.2 billion in assets, Crestar Financial Corporation (NASDAQ-NMS: CRFC) is the holding company for three banks operating in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. Other subsidiaries provide insurance, brokerage, mortgage banking and investment advisory services.
 -0- 7/6/93
 /CONTACT: Barry Koling, corporate communications, Crestar, 804-782-7845/
 (CRFC)


CO: Crestar Bank; Crestar Financial Corporation ST: Virginia IN: FIN SU:

DC-IH -- DC007 -- 8539 07/06/93 10:14 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 6, 1993
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