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NATIONSBANK ANNOUNCES NEW LENDING UNIT TO TARGET SMALL BUSINESSES

 ATLANTA, March 3 /PRNewswire/ -- NationsBank (NYSE: NB) today announced it has formed a new lending unit to target small businesses and expects that unit to make more than $1 billion in new loans through 1996.
 The new lending unit, called Business Banking, will make loans to existing small businesses with annual revenues of up to $4 million. There are an estimated 1.2 million small businesses that will be eligible for the loans in the key markets to be served initially by the Business Banking Unit.
 The Business Banking loans can be used for many purposes, but the primary ones are short-term working capital, the purchase of equipment, the purchase of real estate occupied by the business owner and term loans for expansion. The lending unit will make loans up to $500,000.
 "This program will tap into the credit needs of small businesses throughout the Southeast and Texas. It will help these businesses generate more revenues, add new jobs and spur their local economies," said Ken Lewis, president of the General Bank for NationsBank. "We think it shows the commitment NationsBank has to small business owners, as well as the role we can play in sparking economic growth."
 In the program's initial rollout, NationsBank Business Banking lenders will call on businesses in approximately 30 cities and communities. This includes Atlanta; Austin, Texas; Baltimore; Charleston, S.C.; Charlotte, N.C.; Columbia, S.C.; Dallas; Durham, N.C.; Fort Lauderdale and Fort Meyers, Fla.; and Fort Worth, Texas.
 It also includes Greensboro, N.C.; Greenville, S.C.; Houston; Miami; Memphis and Nashville, Tenn.; Norfolk and Newport News, Va.; Orlando, Fla.; Raleigh, N.C.; Richmond, Va.; San Antonio; Sarasota, St. Petersburg and Tampa, Fla.; and metropolitan Washington.
 In addition to targeting businesses in those cities, small business owners in other cities of the NationsBank franchise may continue to make a loan application at one of the more than 1,700 NationsBank banking centers throughout the Southeast and Texas.
 NationsBank decided to implement the Business Banking Unit across its franchise following the success of a pilot program in Texas last year. In 1992, NationsBank made 1,064 loans to small businesses valued at $57.7 million in the five Texas cities of Houston, Dallas, Austin, San Antonio and Fort Worth. The average amount of each loan was approximately $53,500.
 To generate those loans, NationsBank lending officers made sales calls on more than 6,400 small businesses last year in the five Texas cities.
 "This is solid evidence that we are aggressively seeking to make credit available to small businesses," said Lewis. "We want them to understand that NationsBank wants their business."
 NationsBank has created the new position of Business Banking executive in metro Washington, which encompasses northern Virginia and Maryland, and the eight other states where it operates banks. The Business Banking executive in those states will direct a team of loan officers and report directly to the top executive for consumer lending in each state.
 Business Banking Unit managers also will work with lending officers in the NationsBank Community Investment Program, local community development corporations and the Small Business Administration in each state where the company operates to ensure small businesses take advantage of all credit resources available.
 NationsBank is the fourth largest banking company in the United States with $118 billion in assets and more than 1,700 banking centers in nine states and the District of Columbia.
 -0- 3/3/93
 /CONTACT: Scott Scredon of NationsBank, 404-607-5225/
 (NB)


CO: NationsBank Corporation ST: Georgia IN: FIN SU:

BR-RA -- AT009 -- 2362 03/03/93 10:31 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 3, 1993
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