Fidelity Bank Completes Forgiveness of 99% of PPP Loans
NEW ORLEANS – Fidelity Bank said it has completed forgiveness for 99% of the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loans it issued during the COVID-19 pandemic. The bank, which issued more than 2,000 such loans totaling $800 million, said its forgiveness rate compares favorably to the national average.
Of the 1% of Fidelity loans yet to be forgiven, the majority were partially forgiven, but borrowers will have to repay a portion of the funds distributed to them. Fidelity Bank officials expect nearly all of these to be repaid by the end of 2025. A limited number of outstanding PPP loans are still pending eligibility, which means they still have the potential to be forgiven.
Fidelity Bank began processing PPP loan applications on April 3, 2020.
“The day we heard the PPP loan program was in the works, we started making plans on how to facilitate this to get money out to our communities as quickly as possible,” said Fidelity Bank President Chris Ferris. “Before the first application date even opened, we had a website set up. We made a lot of assumptions on what the program would look like through the SBA and the Louisiana Bankers Association and our congressional delegation. Thankfully, many of those assumptions we made were spot on and that’s why we were able to issue nearly two thousand PPP loans and are sitting at such a high rate of forgiveness.”
Fidelity Bank officials said they don’t expect to hit the 100% forgiveness mark, but do expect to get closer. Obstacles to a perfect forgiveness rate include poor record keeping by applicants, along with misuse of funds (not dedicating 60% to payroll and 40% to eligible expenses) and failure to disclose disqualifying information.
“We were incredibly fortunate to have a dedicated and innovative team to help make this entire project work from the moment it was announced through today. It was an all-hands-on-deck effort to get to this point and my appreciation is extended to everyone who played a role in it,” said Shane Purvis, Fidelity Bank vice president and SBA lending program lead.