Bank of America Received 10,000 Applications in the First Hour of the Small Business Loan Program

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(Reuters) – Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) has already received about 10,000 federal-supported small business loan applications within the first hour of accepting them, chief executive Brian Moynihan said on Friday in an interview with CNBC.

FILE PHOTO: A Bank of America logo is pictured in the Manhattan neighborhood of New York, New York, the United States, on January 30, 2019. REUTERS / Carlo Allegri

The second largest US bank in terms of assets has become the first large bank to accept applications for the massive small business bailout program approved by Congress last week.

“Speed ​​is essential here for these types of small businesses,” said Moynihan. “The money will start coming out once these requests are processed in the next short period.”

Small businesses, which employ about half of the private sector workers in the United States, were hit hard by the new coronavirus epidemic, which led to cities closing non-essential businesses. Consumers are staying more and more at home to limit their spending.

Bank of America saw the volume of consumer transactions drop from an average of $ 60 billion a week to $ 40 billion until March, Moynihan said.

Seeking to bail out millions of small businesses and slow unemployment, Congress included $ 349 billion for small businesses in its $ 2 trillion stimulus package adopted last week. Small businesses will have to rely on banks to get the funds.

Banks have struggled to prepare for an overwhelming demand for loans pending government advice. Friday morning, competitors JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N), Citigroup Inc (C.N) and Wells Fargo & Co (WFC.N) did not accept applications from their website.

“Wells Fargo is working as quickly as possible to be ready to help small businesses through the Paycheque Protection (PPP) program,” a spokesperson said in a statement.

Bank of America gives priority to processing requests for small businesses that already have a borrowing relationship with the bank, said Moynihan.

“If you borrow from another bank … please come back to them, because they are your main bank and they know you best and can deal with you the quickest,” he said.

Report by Imani Moise, edited by Franklin Paul and Steve Orlofsky

Our standards:Principles of the Thomson Reuters Trust.

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