The top four US banks by assets — Bank of America (BofA), JPMorgan Chase, Citi, and Wells Fargo — are reportedly restructuring employees’ roles so they can handle troubled or defaulted loans, per Business Insider. Employees are also being shifted to help process the rise in demand for new loans, with regulators encouraging lenders to move employees around.
Business Insider Intelligence
BofA assembled a group of experts focused on commercial and corporate loans to put aside other projects in favor of hands-on client work, and bankers are working on consumer loans, like mortgages.
Meanwhile, Chase bankers have shifted to managing the bank’s portfolio of existing and new loans to evaluate the uptick in demand — though there haven’t been formal job title changes. And Wells Fargo moved a team of oil and gas bankers into a group to handle an influx of bad energy loans, while Citi has a committee from its investment bank meeting to keep up with the volume of troubled credits and new requests.
As initial loan deferrals approach their expiration dates, banks will need the extra workforce to assess next steps. Banks stand to lose out on major revenue for several months because of the coronavirus relief options they’ve extended, like mortgage deferrals. To protect against that, they’ve increased loan loss provisions: Chase, Citi, Wells Fargo, and BofA collectively allocated $24.1 billion in Q1 2020 to cover future loan losses.
Many consumers have opted into these relief options — with banks often approving enrollments with little or no proof of financial hardship. But forbearance programs that began in March are approaching their expiration dates, and lenders are preparing to investigate to what degree customers receiving relief actually need to defer payments to decide what happens next.
Banks will need to gain a holistic picture of customers’ financial situations to determine who they should nudge back toward repayment — and for that, they’ll likely need all hands on deck to sift through the thousands of accountholders who opted into some deferral programs.
We’ll likely see even more employee movement in the coming weeks as lenders start to brace themselves for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness. Banks are preparing for a huge influx of loan forgiveness applications from PPP borrowers, per Bloomberg.
To get an idea of the magnitude of incoming applications, lenders made nearly 4.3 million PPP loans, totaling $500 billion, and the program enables all borrowers to apply for forgiveness. From the onset, the PPP has been a complicated program for banks to navigate — from being sued for preferential treatment of existing customers to dealing with the Small Business Administration’s (SBA’s) portal experiencing…