Superhero Saturday: Answering the call to process Paycheck Protection Program applications
Late Friday, BBVA USA sent up its own version of the bat signal to more than 600 Branch Retail Executives (BREs) across its seven-state footprint, asking who among them was willing to be a superhero on Saturday.
The mission? Saving small businesses in their communities by pulling together and processing as many pending Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) applications as possible in anticipation of the second round of program funding opening Monday.
Franco: "That our BREs answered the call, taking their personal time to come in, process applications and connect with applicants was heroic..."
“We have specifically kept our portal open between the first and second rounds of funding so that we could take and process applications, with a goal to be completely ready to submit the moment the SBA opens the system to us,” said BBVA USA Retail Network Executive Larry Franco. “That our BREs answered the call, taking their personal time to come in, process applications and connect with applicants was heroic, and we couldn’t be more grateful for how they came together to make a difference.”
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, BBVA USA employees worked diligently to process as many small businesses applications as possible for the CARES Act's Paycheck Protection Program.
According to BBVA USA Executive Vice President of the Relationship Model Discipline Cody Sparks, the special effort undertaken by the BREs didn’t go unnoticed.
Sparks: "We have been flooded with stories of customers expressing gratitude for our banker’s efforts when they called to gather required docs."
“We have been flooded with stories of customers expressing gratitude for our banker’s efforts when they called to gather required docs,” he said. “Our Retail team lives the cause every day and these 267 BREs, District Retail Executives (DREs) and Sales Productivity Executives (SPEs) showed up because they know they can do something that not many can, which is processing business-saving loan applications.”
Since the opening of the first round of the PPP, BBVA has had cross-functional teams working 18- to 20-hour days to process applications. The bank has been consistently pulling together teams from retail, commercial, wealth and small business relationship managers, as well as another 150 processors and 600 retail banking center managers.
During the COVID-19 outbreak, branches have been closed on Saturday, so the ask of the team members was a request instead of a requirement. They not only accepted the challenge for Saturday, but many turned it into a weekend-long initiative. Over the course of the weekend, the team worked more than 1,600 applications and submitted approximately 850 applications to underwriting.
BBVA USA branches opened Saturday, committing to processing hundreds of PPP applications.
“This is a massive joint effort across the bank and our Retail team definitely came through,” Franco said. “They are fighting alongside Underwriting and Business Banking Relationship Managers as we all come together to make a difference on this Superhero Saturday. COVID-19 has become a collective fight for our lives, livelihoods and communities, and we’re proud to do everything in our power to help our customers.”
For more on PPP, click here.