Banker To Banker

Managing PPP Forgiveness

 The release of the new Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Forgiveness application 3508EZ (EZ Form) will cut down on processing time for both the borrower and the bank but merits a quick review in order to optimize processing efficiency. If you are a fintech, or a bank creating their own technology, the EZ Form threw a major curveball as you had had to restructure your code and workflow to figure out if an applicant qualifies. In this article, we highlight several items to consider when building the EZ Form into your new process.

 

CRE Loan Restructuring

Since March of this year, many community banks have been working to provide cash flow relief to customers who have sound business models but require some temporary payment restructuring caused by business disruption as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. CenterState has been involved in those same restructurings both as a lender and as a hedge provider under the ARC program.  We have learned some valuable lessons that we would like to share.

 

Improving PPP Efficiency

This week is the first week banks could potentially take Paycheck Protection Program Forgiveness applications. However, most banks are holding off as we do not have a final application, due out this week. WHEN you release your process merits some analysis, and in this article, we discuss 10 important considerations to decide on as you finalize your process.

 

When to Start Your Process

 

Bank Efficiency

The now-famous Ally Bank commercial of 2012 that asked two kids if they want a pony goes down as one of the most effective in banking history. Two girls are asked if they want a pony, and while the girl in blue gets a toy pony, the girl in orange gets a real pony. Disappointment ensues to the Blue Kid and the moral, of course, is even kids know it’s wrong to treat others differently. While an effective commercial and a nice lesson for the grade-school set, it is a poor lesson for bankers not to mention both intellectually and emotionally disingenuous.

 

PPPFA Staffing

True to form, last Friday, President Trump signed into law a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) change giving us yet a new acronym and the need to scramble to figure out how to amend our respective Forgiveness program to accommodate. The good news is that the new law, the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act (“PPPFA”), addresses many concerns of our small business customers. Since these changes now radically offer both production workflow and profitability, in these changes, we highlight the impact of PPPFA and discuss some ways to optimize the process.

The Lending Environment

Last Friday’s economic data indicated that U.S. nonfarm payrolls rose by 2.5 million in May, compared with expectations for a decline of 7.5 million. In April, nonfarm payroll fell by 20.7 million in the largest single-month drop in records dating back to 1939. Throughout last week, interest rates rose (the ten-year yield rising by 25bps) and the yield curve steepened relentlessly - spread between five-year notes and 30-year bonds widened on Friday to 120 basis points, a level last seen in December 2016.

PPP Marketing

PPP forgiveness is fraught with peril for bankers. Done the wrong way, and it will suck countless resources. Aside from having a good process and/or technology platform, having a marketing plan will be the difference between success and failure. If done correctly, an application can take 20 minutes to review and approve. If done incorrectly, that same application will take over three hours.

Lending Management

Loan growth is slowing for community banks, and credit spreads are widening. As is typical in economic cycles, recessions present an opportunity for healthy banks to thrive and for weaker banks to be whittled.  Despite the flat and low yield curve, the current banking environment is a perfect recipe for healthy banks to win new, strong credit relationships, and increase loan profitability.  However, healthy banks need to act prudently today in choosing the correct type of credit, appropriate structure, enforceable prepayment provisions, and long-term relationship customers.

 

Efficient PPP Forgiveness Processing

It is around this time that many banks are trying to determine the amount of staff and effort that will be required to process all their PPP Forgiveness Applications that are now ready to be filed. Late last Friday, the SBA issued new Final Rules that further outlines what is expected from borrowers and banks that also helps in building this model. To help banks, we put together the below data and model to help answer the question – How many bankers will I need for this effort and for how long.

Lending Growth in the Age of Covid-19

The future path of the economy is currently unpredictable. Still, the majority of banks have now eliminated two possible scenarios: 1) Best case scenario – that nothing will change from February 2020; and 2) Worst case scenario – that the pandemic will not end in the foreseeable future and banks should avoid loans and invest in riskless securities.

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