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Wells Fargo to expand small business rescue lending with Fed exemption

WASHINGTON – The Federal Reserve is temporarily lifting restrictions on Wells Fargo’s ability to make certain commercial loans to help alleviate a crushing backlog of requests for federally backed loans to small business decimated by the worsening Coronavirus crisis.

The nation’s fourth-largest bank announced over the weekend it would disburse up to $10 billion in emergency loans to nonprofits and firms with fewer than 50 employees as part of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), the massive small business rescue program signed into law last week that has seen overwhelming demand.

But the bank could not participate beyond that level due to a cap on assets federal regulators placed on Wells Fargo earlier this year after the bank agreed to pay $3 billion to settle claims related to its creation of millions of fake accounts to meet sales goals between 2002 and 2016.

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