We wouldn’t want to close out the work week without noting that PPP borrowers are not the only ones facing potential government scruitiny.Senate leaders on both sides of the aisle are requesting investigations into how banks have handled the PPP process:
§ Schumer: Requested that the SBA Inspector General investigate unspecified “reports” that banks “have prioritized the applications of their larger and wealthier clients to the detriment of smaller business adversely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.”
§ Rubio: Sent a letter to several large banks asking whether their PPP application process was “first come, first served”, whether any filters were applied to prioritize certain applicants and what policies and procedures were in place to “ensure neutral access” to PPP loans.
§ Warren: Requested a “broad investigation into the program’s implementation”, focusing not only on lenders but also borrowers and on the SBA and Treasury “rulemaking and guidance process”. (I’d suggest that latter investigation start with the Danny Meyer quote and this USA Today headline: “Confused by the federal government’s small business loan program? You’re not alone.”)
I will leave you with that cheery thought. I have studiously avoided plugs in these posts, but I will note that our Congressional Investigations team has written a very helpful analysis on Congressional Investigations and Pandemic Relief Oversight Mechanisms.