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Bank of America (BAC) has opened its small business loan portal. This comes as its stock is down in the market due to the COVID-19 situation.
This comes at a time that the bank is seemingly “all-American” in its response to the business malaise that is currently occurring due to COVID-19.
Bank of America has reportedly taken a different approach to keep its doors open and its employees on its payroll. Sources say that CEO Bryan Moynihan has indicated that this current period is not a period to get stingy with funds. He said in an interview:
“When you’re a company that depends on serving customers well and when that comes down to your team, nickel-and-diming is a dumb thing right now,”
Tough Decisions Are Made
Bryan also indicated that the Bank intends to remain pro-people. The financial giant had hired about 2,000 people in March alone. It also intends to raise its minimum pay from $17 per hour to $20. Bryan told:
“This is a health-care, humanitarian crisis, not an economic crisis.”
Banks have had to close branches and lessen operating hours. This is to keep social distancing rules.
In line with this, Bank of America has indicated that it is the first institution whose small business loan portal is open to the portal. The portal draws on the U.S. Federal Government’s small business relief program. The program which has about $350 billion in its coffers is aimed at helping small businesses affected by the COVID-19 fallout. The $350 billion program is a part of the U.S. Federal Government’s’ $2 trillion economic stimulus passed by Congress and signed into law.
The program has already faced some hiccups before taking off. banks and industry associations had indicated that they lacked guidance in setting up IT systems needed for the program. The U.S. Treasury finally gave guidance at around 7.00 pm Eastern. In response to this,
Richard Hunt, head of the Consumer Bankers Association, said:
“Having just received guidance outlining how to implement a $349 billion program literally hours before it starts, we would ask for everyone to be patient. The organization’s members would “move heaven and earth to get a system in place and running to help America’s small businesses and the millions of men and women who work at them.”
While many feel that the move by the bank is a risky one, several analysts think that this is the kind of action that has made the financial institution stand out.
Bank of America (BAC) Stock Price May Rise Soon
Moves like this could indicate that the bank will allow for easier access to credit. America is a credit-based economy. Bank of America has also gone farther than its peers to remove risky debt from its balance sheet, it may have a positive impact in its stock.
While the U.S. and the rest of the world reel from the effects of COVID-19, several companies are known for standing out for their values in times of crisis. Bank of America is one of them.