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Wells Fargo Closes Loan Window

Wells Fargo claimed Sunday that it has depleted its $10 billion capacity for lending under the stimulus package’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) due to punitive regulations.

The lender said it could lend more than $384 billion if it wasn’t operating under an asset cap, which was put in place following the bank’s 2016 fake-accounts scandal The regulatory measure prevents the bank from holding assets more than $1.95 trillion. 

Wells Fargo did not accept applications for the PPP on Friday, but by Saturday was allowing  small business employers to express interest in the SBA program, according to The San Francisco Business Times. The bank said it can specialize in lending to nonprofits and small businesses with fewer than 50 employees. The company plans to donate the fees it generates from the SBA PPP program to nonprofits that support small business.

“Today, the company continues to operate in compliance with an asset cap imposed by its regulator due to actions of past leadership,” Wells Fargo CEO Charlie Scharf said in a statement Sunday. “While we are actively working to create balance sheet capacity to lend, we are limited in our ongoing ability to use our strong capital and liquidity position to extend additional credit.”