Bankingcrisis managementSmall Business

PPP agent blues

More than two months ago on LinkedIn I posed a summary of the problem that Wells Fargo small business clients were locked out of the PPP program. I don’t know why so many small nonprofits use Wells Fargo, but they do. As an agent who handles transactions for several of these, it was perplexing.

An executive from WSFS saw my post and responded that WSFS would take applications from non-clients. I tested that plan as the agent for one client but didn’t want to refer others until we had success with one. The application appeared to go into a dark hole with no response. I had concerns about security because the application documentation process was done by email to “caresact@wsfsbank.com”. I’m just not accustomed to sending sensitive information via email.

After several weeks of no response I asked the referring executive and he connected me with another person. Then I received an email that WSFS has contracted with Pango Financial to process the applications and I was asked to send the company’s sensitive payroll information by email to “info@pangofinancial.com”. I was uncomfortable with that; it didn’t appear to be a secure address; but after a phone call and approval from the client, I did. Then about a month later Pango Financial representative said the loan was approved and we could expect a bank deposit in a few days. Apparently the representative was unaware that my client was not a WSFS customer. Then a few days ago a WSFS representative emailed me that the client would need to open a new bank account with them. I get the feeling that they have no idea how difficult it is to open a bank account for a nonprofit corporation with signing and authorizing officers in multiple states. So at this point I think we will get it done but will likely cross the 90 day mark from start to finish.

Meanwhile, I still have no contract from the bank and have no idea of the compensation to referring agents. With the extra unexpected costs, I suspect that I will lose money on the transaction.

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