The PPP Small Business Loan Report from Insider Intelligence

In April, the US government launched the historic Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to provide financial assistance to small businesses struggling amid the pandemic.

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Business Insider Intelligence


This program has so far totaled a staggering $659 billion across two separate installments. Funds for the $349 billion first round were tapped out in less than two weeks.

The PPP represents an extraordinary step to solve an unprecedented challenge faced by small businesses, and banks that act decisively in deploying PPP loans stand to earn new clients and goodwill from regulators, as well as a slice of billions in loan fees.

But earning these rewards is no simple task: Banks are expected to process and approve a flurry of loans on a rapid timeline, while processing applications on a first-come, first-served basis.

And while regulators, lawyers, and the media alike have charged banks with being too slow to accept applications, prioritizing existing clients, and favoring larger loan amounts, banks are concerned that rapidly approving a large number of loans to unfamiliar businesses could allow fraud to proliferate in PPP loans, creating more backlash down the line.  

In PPP Small Business Loans, Insider Intelligence looks at how different lenders fared at implementing the PPP during its first round by examining the available data on PPP lenders’ approval patterns and providing insights into how loans were spread across top lenders, geographies, and industries. Further, an update to this report will add insight into the second PPP round launched on April 27, and will be available for free to those who have purchased the initial version of this report. 

The companies mentioned in the report include: Bank of America, BMO Harris, Citibank, Credibly, Frost Bank, Funding Circle,  JPMorgan Chase, KeyBank, Lendio, M&T Bank, PayPal, PNC, Ready Capital, Square, Truist Bank, U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo, Zions Bank.

Here are a few key takeaways from the report:

  • PNC, Chase, and Truist were the top three lenders by approved sums in the first round. A factor behind this is that Chase and PNC had the highest average loan sizes, at $515,304 and $456,371, respectively, compared with the first round’s average of $206,000.
  • Chase, Bank of America, and BMO Harris had a relatively low share of PPP loan volume, given their share of the SMB lending market. On the other hand, banks like PNC Bank and KeyBank punched outside their weight and could stand to gain a larger market share of SMB lending going forward. 
  • Nonbank Ready Capital approved the most PPP loans at 40,746, followed by KeyBank and Truist. Ready Capital’s ability to approve more loans is explained by its focus on smaller businesses, as well as its partnership with fintech lender Lendio, underscoring how fintechs can speed up the loan approval process. 
  • PPP aid didn’t reach the regions that needed it most. Instead of the most affected areas getting more aid, congressional districts and states that demonstrate less need have been seeing higher loan approval rates, as have states that are home to an overperforming regional bank.
  • Funds had a mixed track record of reaching the hardest-hit industry sectors. In some industries, high need for funds was matched with higher supply, such as construction. But some of the hardest-hit industries, like accommodation and food, didn’t get the level of relief they needed. 

In full, the report:

  • Combines official Small Business Administration (SBA) data with additional sources, such as company filings and earnings calls, an academic paper, and analyst research, to generate insights into how different lenders fared at implementing the PPP during its first round. 
  • Looks into PPP loan sizes and total fees gained by lenders, and examines total funded loans and average loan amounts for the top PPP lenders.
  • Provides key takeaways from the analysis of approved loan figures by industry and geography.

Interested in getting the full report? Here’s how to get access:

  1. Insider Intelligence analyzes the banking industry and provides in-depth analyst reports, proprietary forecasts, customizable charts, and more. >> Check if your company has Enterprise membership access to the full report
  2. Sign up for the Banking Briefing, Insider Intelligence’s expert email newsletter tailored for today’s (and tomorrow’s) decision-makers in the financial services industry, delivered to your inbox 6x a week. >> Get started
  3. Purchase & download the full report from our research store. >> Purchase & Download Now

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