Almost all of JPMorgan Chase‘s large commercial banking customers who applied for loans got them in round one of the Small Business Administration relief program, but most of the small applicants got nothing, according to data disclosed by the bank.
The $349 billion rescue program adopted by Congress at the end of March offered forgivable loans up to $10 million to companies with 500 employees or less through the Paycheck Protection Program, part of the $2 trillion CARES Act.
The loans were first-come, first-served. The Small Business Administration program ran out of money in 13 days.
Earlier this week on April 21, the Senate approved an additional $310 billion of funding for PPP loans for small-business owners. The House is expected to approve the measure. You’ll need to get ready immediately for round two, as these funds will go even faster, Entrepreneur reported.
The loans are forgivable if 75 percent of the money is used to keep employees on the payroll. Applicants had to apply to lenders, but the loans were guaranteed and approved by the Small Business Administration.
By comparison, 5,500 larger customers of the commercial banking unit applied for loans. Nearly all of them got loans, according to the bank.
JPMorgan said it ended up providing 26,500 loans to both commercial and small-business customers. More than 60 percent of those went to companies with less than 25 employees, the bank said. JPMorgan lent $14 billion in small-business loans through the program.
JPMorgan isn’t the only bank that gave “concierge service” to its biggest customers. Citibank and U.S. Bank also prioritized their wealthiest clients’ applications, according to bank employees and financial industry executives who spoke to the New York Times.
Citi’s private bank customers (minimum account size: $25 million) didn’t have to apply online. They just had to submit paperwork to their banker, who put in an application on their behalf.
JPMorgan is one of four lenders now being sued, accused of prioritizing the biggest loans to earn higher fees, Bloomberg reported. Banks earned a percentage of the loans in origination fees: 5 percent on loans of up to $350,000; 3 percent on loans between $350,000 and $2 million; and 1 percent on loans between $2 million and $10 million. That means they earned $100,000 for a $10 million loan and $17,500 for processing a $350,000 loan, Bloomberg reported.
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Larger companies had lawyers and accountants filling out their paperwork, which helped them get applications completed and filed early with JPMorgan, Bloomberg reported. With fewer clients, the commercial bank was able to process applications faster, according to a person familiar with the matter.
At least 29 public companies say they got Small Business Administration loans through JPMorgan from the PPP. Those loans totaled about $141 million and averaged about $5 million each, according to regulatory filings. They included a $20 million loan to Ruth’s Hospitality and a $10 million loan to Potbelly.
Shake Shack, which has a market capitalization of $1.63 billion, said on Monday it was returning the $10 million it got from the Small Business Administration loan.
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