U.S. PPP Loans Reach $72.7 Billion in New Round With Big Lenders

The number of Paycheck Protection Program loans to U.S. small businesses more than doubled in the third week of the latest round of pandemic relief aid, as Bank of America Corp. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. each processed more than $1 billion in funding.

The Small Business Administration approved 891,044 loans worth $72.7 billion through Jan. 31, up from the 400,580 loans totaling $35 billion a week prior, according to data released Tuesday. The pace picked up after a slow start following the program’s opening in Jan. 11 with another $284 billion from Congress as part of a stimulus package for the economy.

Bank of America moved to the top lender slot in the past week, with about 35,000 loans worth $1.9 billion, followed by JPMorgan. Small lenders and fintech companies, including Zions Bancorp NA and Itria Ventures LLC, continued to out-loan some big banks including PNC Financial Services Group Inc. and Wells Fargo & Co.

After the first week was dedicated exclusively to community financial institutions and small lenders, there’s sign of pent-up demand at large banks waiting for their applications to be processed.

Wells Fargo has received about 77,000 applications for more than $4 billion, spokesman Manuel Venegas said by email. As of Jan. 31, the San Francisco-based bank had received approval for 18,272 loans, SBA data show.

Overall, about three-quarters of the loans approved by the SBA are for borrowers who already received one last year. Under a law passed by Congress in December, companies can apply for a second loan if they can show revenue loss.

The average loan size was $81,635, with first-draw loans being much smaller on average. First time business applicants received an average loan of $21,157, whereas second time recipients got $102,228.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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