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Bank of America has acted responsibly with small business loans | READER COMMENTARY

Sabina L. Kelly, greater Maryland market president of Bank of America. File.
Sabina L. Kelly, greater Maryland market president of Bank of America. File. (Karl Merton Ferron/Baltimore Sun)

On Friday, April 3, Bank of America was the first major financial services institution to execute on the federal Paycheck Protection Program which was signed into law just one week prior. Our role is to execute the program according to federal rules and protocols (“Baltimore-area small businesses complain of continuing problems gaining access to federal lending program,” April 7).

In just under a week, we have received more than 250,000 applications for more than $40 billion in much-needed relief for small businesses. This reflects the need the CARES Act intends to address.

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In addition to executing on this and other federal programs to support clients in need, we are helping our customers, clients and communities in a number of other ways through our own programs.

More than 700,000 clients have been helped by our Client Assistance Program with deferred loan payments and waived fees, all with no negative credit reporting. We will continue this for the duration of the crisis. We have committed $100 million to support local non-profit organizations on the front lines in our communities. We have also provided $250 million in capital and $10 million in philanthropic grants to community development financial institutions and minority-owned banks.

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We also are taking care of our teammates in several others ways including offering special supplemental pay to teammates who are serving clients every day in more than 140 financial centers across Maryland and through our life event services team that provides teammates in Maryland with personalized support including resources, tools and access to benefits. We also help through our back-up care program where eligible employees receive up to $100 per day towards back-up child care. And, finally, by hiring more than 2,000 teammates across the company in March when we also announced we will not do layoffs or job reductions in 2020 as a result of the coronavirus.

My teammates and I are proud of our company’s leadership and the role we are playing to help Marylanders during this crisis.

Sabina Kelly, Baltimore

The writer is greater Maryland market president for Bank of America.

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