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In their own words.

John King John King, CEO
Three Rivers Bank
Kalispell, Montana
Assets: $110M
Three Rivers Bank
Three Rivers Bank is one of the top three SBA lenders in Montana. We talked with John King, CEO, about Holtmeyer & Monson’s role in helping the bank achieve that distinction.

Q: John, why did you choose to partner with Holtmeyer & Monson?

John: I learned how Holtmeyer & Monson had helped many banks become better SBA loan underwriters from some fellow ICBA members. We needed a quality company to help us get into the small business lending arena—one that understands how a community bank looks at loans and how we need to fund loans.

Q:  Were you doing any SBA lending before you started working with Holtmeyer & Monson?

John: We had done some over the years, but the underwriting and all the SBA negotiations fell on the credit officer. Holtmeyer & Monson has freed up my credit officer to be more involved with the debtor while they’re underwriting the credit. That helps improve our customer service.

Q: How many SBA loans are you doing now?

John: We’re closing about 20 to 24 loans a year with Holtmeyer & Monson and we were recently named the third largest lender of SBA loans in Montana. We’re competing against Wells Fargo and a statewide bank with sixteen or so branches. We just have two branches in Kalispell. So for a community independent bank with only two branches, we’re doing great!

Q: How has Holtmeyer & Monson helped you accomplish that?

John: We probably would not be in the SBA loan business right now if it were not for H&M. They guide your lenders with a proven system that helps you understand the SBA and the way the SBA wants things done to get credits approved.

Holtmeyer & Monson communicates with us all through the lending process so we know where things stand. Our documentation is in very good order prior to the loan being presented to the SBA. When the SBA gets the application, they contact Holtmeyer & Monson first and then we’re contacted afterward if there are questions or concerns. This way, our credit officers can stay on top of that credit and tell our borrowers where we are in the process. I like that way of doing business!

Q:  Can you describe the working relationship between Holtmeyer & Monson and your team?

John: It’s been a joyful relationship.Our contacts at H&M have been in the banking industry for years so they know the situation of a credit officer, our deadlines, and how we work with tax returns to create our numbers. I like that somebody with expertise is looking over our shoulder to help evaluate that credit. It’s nice to have that knowledge as some insurance. Additionally, they’ve actually created opportunities by educating our junior lenders on the SBA commercial lending business. We’re about 65% commercial loan driven so it’s vital that our officers be able to step in and do SBA lending with professionalism and knowledge.

Q: What’s the overall value that Holtmeyer & Monson’s SBA expertise has brought to Three Rivers Bank?

John: There are several great values here:

  1. One, we are assisting our bank’s current customers—to give them maybe a better term and a better interest rate, which will improve their cash flow of their businesses during these hard times.
  2. Another value is that we’re attracting new companies because there are banks in our local area that do not want to do SBA credits.
  3. The last point has to do with safety and soundness. The SBA provides a guarantee of the loan, percentage-wise. For a community bank making business loans, which are the highest risk loans of any bank, having a guarantee there helps.

Lenders can earn a
7-10% premium
on SBA loan guarantees sold to investors.

Why H&M for SBA