SBA: Arvest, Regions Top Small Business Lenders in Arkansas

Arvest Bank Group Inc. of Bentonville was the top small business lender in Arkansas in 2007, according to a new report issued by the U.S. Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy.

Ranking a close second in Arkansas was Regions Financial Corp., headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., which was also the third-highest ranked small business lender in the country.

The study ranks banks by the amount of small (less than $1 million) and micro (less than $100,000) business loans made.

Other high-ranking banks with physical presence in Arkansas are BancorpSouth of Tupelo, Miss., at No. 12, SunTrust Banks of Atlanta, No. 17; U.S. Bancorp of Minneapolis, No. 19; and Bank of America, No. 21.

Following Arvest and Regions for small business lending in Arkansas are First Security Bancorp of Searcy, Liberty Bancshares of Jonesboro, Bank of the Ozarks of Little Rock, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase & Co. of New York, BancorpSouth, Simmons First National Corp. of Pine Bluff and American Express Bank of Salt Lake City, Utah.

American Express Bank, a national credit card issuer, was the No. 1 small business lender nationally, followed by another credit card company, Capital One Financial Corp. of McLean, Va.