Popular Inc. Originates $2.1B in PPP Loans
SAN JUAN – Popular Inc., the holding company for Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, announced Tuesday that upon completion of the second round of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) on May 31, the island’s largest bank had processed nearly 50,000 loans, originating $2.1 billion. The institution said the total monetary amount was reached during the extension of both rounds of the program.
In the second PPP round, which began on January 19, Popular Inc. processed approximately 20,500 loans totaling $673 million throughout its network of branches in Puerto Rico, the United States, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, according to a press release issued by the financial institution.
The businesses that benefitted from these PPP loans employ approximately 136,000 people across many industries, including food and lodging (28%), retail (12%), health and social assistance (12%), and professional services (8%).
The bank’s average PPP loan size was $32,800 compared to the national average of $42,000. In Puerto Rico, the average PPP loan was $29,000.
Popular Inc. processed the largest share of PPP loans in both rounds, with a total of $1.7 billion or 62% of the total loans originated on the island.
Ignacio Álvarez, president and CEO of Popular Inc., said that 100% of loan requests in the second round were processed through the bank’s portal, enabling the bank to originate, review for approval, and disburse these loans digitally.
“Our engagement in this program reflects our commitment to promote the well-being of the communities we serve and allowed us to support tens of thousands of small and medium-sized businesses in times of great economic hardship caused by the pandemic,” Álvarez said in a statement. “We are grateful for their trust and for our colleagues’ efforts during this historical time which allowed us to provide essential assistance to so many customers.”
Last year, Popular Inc. processed $1.2 billion in PPP loans on the island and the U.S. Virgin Islands and an additional $200 million in PPP loans in the states.
The PPP loan program was created by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, (CARES Act), federal legislation designed to help individuals and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The forgivable loans, backed by the federal Small Business Administration (SBA)-subsidized loans, help businesses keep their workforce employed during the pandemic crisis.
ACCORDING TO THE SBA WEBSITE, a PPP borrower can apply for forgiveness once all loan proceeds for which the borrower is requesting forgiveness have been used. Borrowers can apply for forgiveness any time up to the maturity date of the loan. If borrowers do not apply for forgiveness within ten months after the last day of the covered period, then PPP loan payments are no longer deferred, and borrowers will begin making loan payments to their PPP lender.
Popular Inc. is the leading financial institution by both assets and deposits in Puerto Rico and ranks among the top 50 U.S. bank holding companies by assets. Founded in 1893, Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, Popular’s principal subsidiary, provides retail, mortgage, and commercial banking services in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In the mainland United States, Popular provides retail, mortgage, and commercial banking services through its New York-chartered banking subsidiary, Popular Bank, which has branches in New York, New Jersey, and Florida.