The New Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan forgiveness portal has seen more than 340,000 submissions in the first two weeks since its launch, the agency announced last week.
The SBA said it received more than triple the number of submissions as the top 10 PPP lenders that do not participate in direct forgiveness. The agency said it was on track to complete the remittance of 3.4 million direct remittance borrowers by the end of the year.
Lenders must register so that borrowers can use the platform. But not all banks have one. Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and PNC, for example, have decided to stick with their own internal portals to process loan forgiveness, some have announced on their websites.
“Already, we’ve seen hundreds of thousands of borrowers navigate the process quickly and easily, and we continue to proactively help borrowers apply through in-depth training and webinars,” said Patrick Kelley , associate director of the SBA capital access office, in a statement. “We encourage all lenders to join this tested portal.”
The SBA said more than 1,230 lenders involved in the PPP, representing more than 50% of outstanding loan cancellation requests, have opted for their direct borrower cancellation portal.
The remaining 4,237 lenders, however, have yet to join the program, with some choosing to use their own internal portals instead.
“We did not log into the SBA portal because we have been using our own streamlined portal for several months and over 75% of our clients have closed their cases,” Bank of America spokesperson Mark Pipitone said.
Bank of America is the second largest PPP lender for 2021, with 147,548 approved loans made this year, according to SBA data.
The bank has granted 475,000 PPP loans since April 2020, according to its website.
Other smaller institutions, like First Resource Bank, have also decided not to use the SBA platform, fearing that an additional portal would complicate the process.
“We have our own portal which we use very successfully and don’t see the need to complicate things by adding a new method at this point,” said Lauren Ranalli, president and chief financial officer of the Based in Pennsylvania Community bank with assets of $ 457 million.
Ranalli said the bank’s first round of PPP loans were canceled entirely except for three small loans. The bank “is making great progress” in the second round, she added.
During the program, many banks have invested in their own portals to help speed up the approval and forgiveness process.
Customers Bank, one of the program’s most prolific lenders, has created its own department to handle the origination, funding, and cancellation of PPP loans in an effort to avoid some of the delays and worries which overwhelmed many lenders last year.
The bank also made the platform available as a white label service for other lenders, allowing them to integrate a web page that goes to the client portal.
The Wyomissing, PA-based bank, however, has always chosen to use the SBA’s platform in addition to its own.
Customers, which has made more than 320,000 PPP loans with a total value of $ 9.6 billion, is one of the largest lenders to opt for the SBA portal.
“SBA’s Streamlined and Efficient PPP Loan Cancellation Portal will Help Borrowers and Lenders Move Forward with Economic Growth and Job Creation After the Pandemic” Sam sidhu, president and chief executive officer of Customers, said in a statement last month. “We encourage other lenders to join Customers Bank and register for the SBA Portal.”
The SBA said it proactively reaches out to borrowers and provides a pre-filled forgiveness form that they can complete in the new forgiveness portal direct through a computer or smartphone.
The agency said it takes an average of six minutes for users to submit their requests. Borrowers receive their forgiveness decisions within a week of the submission date, the SBA added.
“Of the 340,000 requests submitted through the portal, half have already been approved for full or partial forgiveness, for a total of more than $ 2.4 billion,” the SBA said.