Wells Fargo Reaches Lending Capacity Under Paycheck Protection Program
APR 7, 2020 - 6:30 am
Wells Fargo is targeting to distribute a total of $10 billion to small business customers under the requirements of the PPP and will focus on serving two segments of its customer population: nonprofits and small businesses with fewer than 50 employees. The company has received forms from customers expressing interest in the PPP that it expects will fill the company’s capacity to lend under the program, as it continues to operate under existing asset cap limitations.
“Since the beginning of this health crisis, Wells Fargo has provided substantial credit and liquidity to our customers to help them weather these uncertain times. In the month of March alone, we extended nearly $70 billion in new and increased commitments and outstanding loans to customers including consumers, small businesses, and companies in the US. In addition, we have deferred more than 700,000 payments, representing almost $1.8 billion, and provided over 750,000 fee waivers, exceeding $28 million, for our customers impacted by this event.
“Today, the company continues to operate in compliance with an asset cap imposed by its regulator due to actions of past leadership. While we are actively working to create balance sheet capacity to lend, we are limited in our ongoing ability to use our strong capital and liquidity position to extend additional credit. Since I arrived at the company, I have been clear that we will direct all resources necessary to do the work required by our regulators and we are in the process of doing so.
“We are committed to helping our customers during these unprecedented and challenging times, but are restricted in our ability to serve as many customers as we would like under the PPP. While all businesses have been impacted by this crisis, small businesses with fewer than 50 employees and nonprofits often have fewer resources. Therefore, we are focusing our efforts under the Paycheck Protection Program on these groups,” said Wells Fargo CEO Charlie Scharf.
The company also announced that fees generated through the program will be distributed as charitable grants to nonprofits that support small businesses, which is a focus of Wells Fargo’s philanthropic efforts.
Wells Fargo will review all expressions of interest submitted by customers via its online form through April 5 and provide them with updates in the coming days.
Wells Fargo continues to meet customer and community needs through a series of actions:
The company has suspended residential property foreclosure sales, evictions and involuntary automobile repossessions. The company is also offering fee waivers, payment deferrals and other expanded assistance for credit card, auto, mortgage, small business and personal lending customers impacted by COVID-19 who contact the company.
Additionally, Wells Fargo continues to take actions to serve customers, while also prioritizing employee and customer safety. The company is temporarily closing some branches, adjusting operating hours of branches, relocating employees to busier branches and utilizing drive up instead of lobbies where possible. Customers can check Wells Fargo’s branch locator for ATM locations and the status of branches and can use mobile and online banking tools almost anywhere 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Wells Fargo continues to enable as many employees as possible to work from home, while enforcing social distancing and other safety measures for employees coming into an office or branch.
As previously announced, the Wells Fargo Foundation will direct $175 million in charitable donations to help address food, shelter, small business, and housing stability issues, and to help public health organizations fighting to contain the spread of COVID-19. In addition, the company is providing:
$1 million to Feeding America to support their 200 member foodbanks as they work to feed people during this time of crisis.
$1 million for the CDC Foundation to meet emerging needs, including additional support for state and local health departments, global response and other necessities.
$250,000 to the International Medical Corps for their work in 30+ countries, with more than 7,000 public health workers deployed across the globe. A majority of the funding will be allocated for local market response, including supporting local public health authorities and addressing community-specific needs in the coming months.
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