April 6 (UPI) -- The Bank of America said Monday it has seen booming demand for emergency rescue loans while Wells Fargo said Sunday it has already reached its limit for small business customers.
Bank of America said it has received more than 177,000 applications for the Paycheck Protection Program from small businesses asking for $32.6 billion in financing. Its applications account for nearly 10 percent of the amount Congress has allotted for the program.
Wells Fargo issued a statement saying it has reached its $10 billion capacity to lend to small business customers under the program and will now focus its remaining funds on nonprofits and small businesses with fewer than 50 employees. The bank has a cap on the funds it can distribute because of its past problems with customer accounts that led to fines and firings.
While fears the program may run out of money may be driving some of the applications, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and President Donald Trump both said they would ask Congress for more money if that happens.
"I will immediately ask Congress for more money to support small businesses under the [Paycheck Protection Program] if the allocated money runs out," Trump said on Twitter. "So far, way ahead of schedule. [Bank of America] and community banks are rocking."
Congress and the White House urged banks to make loans to small businesses under the Paycheck Protection Plan, which was part of its $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package signed in March. The loans were designed to keep staff hired and soften the sudden closure of businesses nationwide affected by COVID-19.