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Banking & Finance

Live Oak Bank Earns USDA Lending Kudos

By Jenny Callison, posted Nov 30, 2018
Although it has made its name primarily as an SBA lender, Live Oak Bank has expanded into the realm of U.S. Department of Agriculture loans.

Success in that niche has earned the Wilmington-based bank a new accolade: It was named 2018 Lender of the Year by the USDA’s Rural Business and Cooperative Service.

Live Oak was presented the award Oct. 24 for being the highest volume lender nationwide for USDA’s Rural Business-Cooperative loan guarantee programs encompassing the Rural Energy for American Program (REAP) and the Business & Industry (B&I) loan program.
The bank launched its USDA- backed lending program in the fall of 2016, offering loans for utility- scale solar projects, waste-to-energy projects and community water and environmental programs.

Jordan Blanchard, general manager of Live Oak’s energy and environmental lending team, said in a news release, “The REAP and B&I programs are important means for getting capital into the hands of companies that are increasing our country’s energy independence while bolstering job opportunities in rural America."
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