Fidelity Bank Reaches Milestone of Completing Forgiveness for 99% of PPP Loans Issued During Worldwide COVID-19 Pandemic
By: Fidelity Bank
(New Orleans) – Fidelity Bank has reached a significant milestone of completing forgiveness for 99% of the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loans the New Orleans-based bank issued during the COVID-19 pandemic. Fidelity Bank issued more than 3,500 PPP loans as part of the government-assistance program totaling $800 million. According to financial industry statistics, the national average for PPP loan forgiveness completion by banks is currently 91%.
Of the 1% of loans yet to be forgiven, the majority were partially forgiven, but borrowers will have to repay a portion of the funds distributed to them. Fidelity Bank officials expect nearly all of these to be repaid by the end of 2025. A limited number of outstanding PPP loans are still pending eligibility which means they still have the potential to be forgiven under the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) guidelines.
Fidelity Bank was one of the first banks in the state to process PPP loans applications on April 3, 2020, the day the loan applications became available.
“The day we heard the PPP loan program was in the works, we started making plans on how to facilitate this to get money out to our communities as quickly as possible,” Fidelity Bank President Chris Ferris said. “Before the first application date even opened, we had a website set up. We made a lot of assumptions on what the program would look like through the SBA and the Louisiana Bankers Association and our congressional delegation. Thankfully, many of those assumptions we made were spot on and that’s why we were able to issues nearly 2,000 PPP loans and are sitting at such a high rate of forgiveness.”
Fidelity Bank officials don’t expect to hit the 100% forgiveness mark, but do expect to get closer to 100% from the current 99%. Some issues leading to all the PPP loans not being forgiven include poor recordkeeping on the use of PPP funds, misuse of funds (not dedicating 60% to payroll and 40% to eligible expenses) and not disclosing information on the application rendering the borrower ineligible.
“We were incredibly fortunate to have a dedicated and innovative team to help make this entire project work from the moment it was announced through today. It was an all-hands-on-deck effort to get to this point and my appreciation is extended to everyone who played a role in it,” Fidelity Bank Vice President, SBA Lending Program Lead Shane Purvis said. “Fidelity Bank by virtue of having that commitment from personnel throughout the bank really helped us to deliver on a high level and minimize fraud and risk while at the same time achieving a tremendous percentage of loans and dollars forgiven.”
About Fidelity Bank
Founded in 1908, Fidelity Bank is an $1 billion in assets mutual financial institution chartered by the state of Louisiana. Fidelity Bank provides a full array of banking services, with high integrity and personalized service to communities throughout Southeast Louisiana. Fidelity Bank’s mission is HERE FOR GOOD. Visit Fidelity Bank or www.fidelitybank.com.