A new article in the Washington Post yesterday spotlighted the round-the-clock efforts of community banks to make Paycheck Protection Program loans with a largely remote workforce. The article focused primarily on Union Bank and Trust, an ABA member bank headquartered in Lincoln, Neb., which 72 hours after the program’s launch on April 3 was the second-largest PPP lender in the nation.
Anticipating the demand for PPP loans, UBT began preparing quickly once the legislation creating the program was enacted. Among other things, the bank contacted the Small Business Administration to get additional employees registered as users on the E-Tran system, established a dedicated task force that held daily conference calls and developed new software to enable customers to submit PPP loan applications online and track those applications on the back end. On April 2, a day before the program officially launched, the bank had already collected 400 applications.
“We made it a priority to be one of the banks that offered this lifeline to the businesses we served because those businesses are the lifeblood of our bank,” said UBT’s Doris Robertson. The bank approved more than 2,000 loans before the first round of PPP funding ran out—most of which were for amounts under $200,000—and 83% of those went to the bank’s existing customers.