As small businesses across the country struggle with challenges from decreased sales to mandatory shut-downs tied to the COVID-19 pandemic, BBVA USA employees worked fervently to ensure the bank was one of the first in the U.S. to accept applications for the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program.
Bustillo: “We believe that banks have a responsibility to do everything possible to support the SBA and help sustain this country’s small businesses.”
“We believe that banks have a responsibility to do everything possible to support the SBA and help sustain this country’s small businesses,” said BBVA USA Chief Operating Officer Rafael Bustillo, who leads commercial operations at the bank. “We fully recognize that every $1 billion in loans equates to at least one million jobs, so this is an all-hands-on-deck situation for us.”
BBVA pulled together teams from commercial, wealth and small business relationship managers, as well as another 150 processors and 600 retail banking center managers to help process applications. In addition, more than 100 bank employees volunteered to handle administrative tasks required to process the SBA applications.
Dobers: “Small businesses are the lifeblood of the U.S. economy, and it is BBVA’s mission to create opportunities for our customers’ success, including programs like this one.”
“We had cross functional teams working 18- to 20-hour days to make sure our small business online loan portal was live and ready to go the first day PPP applications were accepted,” said Elizabeth Dobers, Executive Director of Business Banking for BBVA. “Small businesses are the lifeblood of the U.S. economy, and it is BBVA’s mission to create opportunities for our customers’ success, including programs like this one.”
BBVA employees in its commercial and small business teams — as well as legal, engineering, underwriting and others — came together to deliver the bank’s first online small business application in just three days – a process which typically would take a year’s worth of effort. That speed to market meant that BBVA applicants were among the first in line for the federal funding program.
“The funding is limited and distributed on a first come, first served basis,” said Dobers. “We knew we needed to get out there quickly to ensure that our customers were among the first in line on day one.”
BBVA USA consistently punches above its weight in the SBA program and is recognized as one of the leading small business lenders by the SBA, ranked 13th nationally in terms of dollar volume of SBA loans originated in fiscal year 2019.
Bustillo: “Over the course of three weeks, we have processed five times the number of SBA loan applications we typically do in an entire year.”
“I’m very proud of our entire team and the way they’ve stepped up to help our customers and one another,” said Bustillo. “Over the course of three weeks, we have processed five times the number of SBA loan applications we typically do in an entire year.”
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