CommunityOne Bank offering SBA loans for first time since 2010

CommunityOne Bank said Friday that it has begun offering Small Business Administration loans, the first time it has done so since the financial crisis.

The bank, a subsidiary of Charlotte-based CommunityOne Bancorp, said it has not made an SBA loan since 2010. That’s when its primary federal regulator, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, issued a cease-and-desist order against the struggling bank, requiring it to improve its financial condition.

In June 2013, the bank announced that the OCC terminated the order after it was determined that the bank was well-capitalized.

On Friday, CommunityOne named an SBA team of two bankers who will be based in Charlotte. The team will be responsible for generating SBA loans in the Carolinas, Georgia, Tennessee and Virginia, the bank said.

The return to SBA lending follows CommunityOne Bancorp’s exit last year of the federal bailout of the financial system. In 2009, CommunityOne Bancorp, then known as FNB United and headquartered in Asheboro, received $51.5 million in bailout funds.

CommunityOne Bancorp was the last lender based in the Charlotte area to exit the bailout, also known as the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

FNB changed its name to CommunityOne Bancorp in 2013 after merging its two banks, Granite Falls-based Bank of Granite and Asheboro-based CommunityOne Bank, under a plan to help it return to profitability.

In 2013, CommunityOne became profitable for the first time since the depths of the financial crisis. In October of that year, the publicly traded company reported its first operating profit since the second quarter of 2008.

CommunityOne Bank is the 14th largest bank by market share in the Charlotte metropolitan area, according to the latest federal data.