Leaked memo shows Bank of America’s talking points for staffers on how to handle the next round of PPP loans — and warns that funds likely won’t meet ‘extreme need and demand’

  • Financial institution of America’s Merrill Lynch Wealth Administration is readying workers for the subsequent spherical of small enterprise funding set to renew on Monday, in line with a memo reviewed by Enterprise Insider.
  • The agency supplied speaking factors to staff round tips on how to interact with purchasers.
  • Even when federal funds run dry, the agency will maintain processing purposes “in anticipation of further funding changing into accessible, until we obtain totally different steering from the federal government.”
  • The memo despatched out on Friday afternoon highlights how the financial institution, the primary main lender to start executing on the Paycheck Safety Program earlier this month, is prepping for a brand new flood of purposes.
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As small companies brace for another sprint to use for federal aid through the coronavirus pandemic, Financial institution of America, the second-largest US financial institution, is getting ready workers for the subsequent spherical set to renew on Monday.

The agency’s Merrill Lynch Wealth Administration unit is offering workers with authorized speaking factors round partaking with purchasers and a reference checklist of incessantly requested questions, in line with a memo reviewed by Enterprise Insider.

Many Merrill staffers had been recently shifted from their normal responsibilities into roles serving to small enterprise clients of all sizes. 

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The agency expects that if the federal funds for small companies in misery run dry, as the initial $349 billion set aside for help was exhausted in simply two weeks earlier this month, it’ll proceed processing purposes. 

“If present funding is not accessible, we anticipate we are going to proceed to course of purposes on behalf of our purchasers in anticipation of further funding changing into accessible, until we obtain totally different steering from the federal government,” the memo, signed by Merrill chief working officer Kirstin Hill, mentioned.

“It’s widely known that it’ll probably not be sufficient to satisfy the acute want and demand, and it stays to be seen if extra funding shall be supplied by Congress,” Hill mentioned. “We hope so, and within the meantime, stay centered on serving to our purchasers course of their purposes as quickly as potential.” 

The memo despatched out on Friday afternoon gives a window into how the financial institution is getting ready for a brand new rush of small enterprise mortgage purposes at a historic second of coordination between huge banks and the federal authorities in offering a cushion to small businesses. An organization spokesperson confirmed the contents of the memo.

Bank of America

REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

The Small Enterprise Administration is ready to start out accepting new purposes once more on Monday. President Donald Trump on Friday signed into law a brand new $484 billion aid invoice, which incorporates $310 billion in new funds put aside for the PPP. 

“It’s important our purchasers interact with us shortly as every step of the method strikes ahead, and we’re reaching out to them in a wide range of methods to clarify what they should do,” Hill wrote within the memo. “We’re not sending common data broadly to purchasers.” 

Charlotte, North Carolina-based Financial institution of America was the primary main lender to start executing on the Paycheck Safety Program when the application portals first opened on April 3. 

Chief Govt Brian Moynihan mentioned earlier this week on the agency’s annual shareholder assembly, held remotely, that it is obtained 390,000 purposes for greater than $50 billion in SBA loans.

“We’re in a conflict towards COVID-19,” Moynihan mentioned, including the agency has processed and funded “1000’s of purposes price billions of {dollars}, and people have gone out to our clients,” in line with a transcript on the monetary analysis platform Sentieo.

Within the memo’s speaking factors for partaking with purchasers round PPP, meant “for verbal use solely with purchasers,” it features a reminder that Bank of America has continued processing mortgage purposes “in anticipation of the SBA starting to just accept mortgage purposes once more.” 

Throughout the incessantly requested questions described within the memo, the agency reminds workers that purchasers who’ve already submitted purposes to would not have to reapply for funds now that SBA has secured them. 

One other level answered a pattern query regarding what order Financial institution of America is submitting loans to the SBA for approval: “When mortgage purposes are full, together with all required paperwork and overview, they enter the queue for submission to the SBA.”