Big banks pull ahead in small-business aid after stumbles

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The largest U.S. banks stepped up lending to dominate the government's small-business rescue program after playing an undersized role in its early days.

Banks with assets of $10 billion or more processed 68% of Paycheck Protection Program loans last week, data released on Sunday show, compared with about 40% during the program's first round from April 3 to April 16. That translates to about $24 billion of PPP loans a day from the largest banks, more than double the daily pace set by that group in the first phase.

The big banks took PPP lending share mostly from medium-sized ones with between $1 billion and $10 billion of assets, the data show. Those firms saw their share drop by more than half to about 16%. The smallest banks' share also declined, to 15% from about 20%. Figures from the first round were disclosed in an SBA statement April 17.

Overall, big banks now account for about half the total lending.

Bank of America Corp. on Monday identified itself as the top lender in the second round of funding, which means it got loan approvals for $21.3 billion in the week ending Friday. The bank had won approval for only about $4 billion of loans during the first round of the program.

Bloomberg News
Small business lending Paycheck Protection Program
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