Bank of America customers trying to apply for their piece of the $350 billion small business bailout were appalled to learn the bank was restricting loans to businesses who’d borrowed previously – despite claiming otherwise.
Outraged customers discovered on Friday that the massive financial institution is unilaterally denying loans through the Paycheck Protection Program – the small business bailout passed as part of last month’s coronavirus economic stimulus – to any business that hasn’t borrowed from Bank of America previously.
While the bank’s CEO Brian Moynihan told CNBC it was merely prioritizing existing business loan customers, the policy posted on its website contradicted that claim, revealing that a prerequisite for applying to the scheme was a “small business lending relationship, inclusive of credit card,” that existed prior to February 15. Bank of America was the first of the ‘big banks’ to begin accepting applications – and, as of Friday morning, the only one, though the program’s website was supposed to go live at midnight on Thursday.
Social media was filled with outraged reports from customers, some of whom said their relationship with the bank goes back years.
Some pointed out they were literally being punished for running a debt-free business and not requiring loans in the past.
THIS IS USELESS! They are only giving out PPP loans to businesses that ALREADY have private loans with them at #BankofAmerica – I have a cash flow positive +10 year small business, zero loans/debt and they’re not letting me apply! How are we supposed to get this relief? #PPPloan
— Nick Ponton (@nickponton) April 3, 2020
When my sister, who put her life savings up to open her own hair salon, called @BankofAmerica to ask why why she was being punished for saving up money to open her own business without any debt, the woman on the phone laughed and said, “because those are the rules.” #PPPloanpic.twitter.com/n7gBVXgdw6
— Jon Farnsworth (@JonPypes) April 3, 2020
Others chalked it up to a long-term pattern of “greed and crookedness” at the bank.
I cancelled my #bankofamerica account a while back after they imposed their ‘monthly maintenance fees’ that punish you for being out of work by charging you money you don’t have. Their greed and crookedness goes much deeper than that unconscionable act though.
— ?️??110% Jokerfied Spacedad??️? (@SuperSpacedad) April 3, 2020
Please remember the antics & crookedness of #bankofamerica during the LAST recession! We left them, will never have anything to do with them ever again. Cost of 1000s at a time we couldn’t really afford it, trying to keep our house. Succeeded, WITHOUT THEM!
— JimK is just JK (@peskypedaler) April 3, 2020
President Donald Trump seemed unaware of the issue, however, praising Bank of America on Twitter.
Great job being done by @BankofAmerica and many community banks throughout the country. Small businesses appreciate your work!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 3, 2020
Moynihan also told CNBC that the bank had already received 10,000 loan applications within an hour of the website going live. Small businesses shut out of Bank of America’s portal are concerned that by the time its competitors have their websites up and running – Wells Fargo has already acknowledged its own portal won’t be ready on Friday at all – the money will all be gone. The widespread delays appear to be due to the Treasury waiting until hours before the program was scheduled to go live to deliver much-needed guidance to participating lenders on how to accept and process applications.
In the week leading up to the Paycheck Protection Program’s debut, banks warned that the terms dictated by the Trump administration, requiring that lenders vet all applicants and conduct terrorism and money-laundering screenings, would make it impossible to approve the expected volume of loans in the few months allotted as the application period. While some institutions have threatened not to participate at all, others merely pushed for a guarantee from the Treasury Department and Small Business Administration, who are administering the loans, that they will not be held responsible for any applicants misrepresenting their qualifications.
The coronavirus crisis and related lockdowns keeping most of the American population indoors have utterly devastated the nation’s economy, forcing thousands of businesses to close their doors and leaving millions out of work. In the last two weeks, nearly 10 million Americans have filed for unemployment, overwhelming states’ benefits websites and exceeding the number who were laid off during the 2008 financial crisis.
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Canada postpones critical 5G spectrum auction by six months – Yahoo Canada Finance
A press release from his department indicated that postponing the auction will allow telecom carriers focus on “providing essential services to Canadians” during the pandemic.
The new date is set for June 15, 2021.
In general, 5G operates over traditional and new cell radio frequency bands that include the low- (sub-1GHz such as 700MHz), mid- (1.6GHz, around 3.5-3.8GHz), and millimetre-wave (mmWave, such as 28GHz) ranges.
The 3,500MHz band is critical specifically in cities where thousands of small cells will be deployed in order to be used for applications like self-driving cars and many consumer applications.
The sum of opening bid prices for the auction is $558 million. Last year’s 600MHz spectrum auction raised $3.57 billion.
“Canada’s telecommunications service providers are doing their part in this difficult time, providing essential services to keep Canadians connected as we face the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic together,” Bains said in the release.
“A number of providers have raised concerns, and the government is implementing measures to address them. The government will continue to reach out to telecommunications service providers—and to the private sector more broadly—to understand their challenges and support them to ensure that Canadians have access to high-quality networks and broad coverage at low prices.”
<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Recently, Telus and Bell announced plans to partner with Nokia and Ericsson as a 5G supplier. Rogers is partnered with Ericsson to provide 5G services.” data-reactid=”31″>Recently, Telus and Bell announced plans to partner with Nokia and Ericsson as a 5G supplier. Rogers is partnered with Ericsson to provide 5G services.
<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Additionally, Bains indicated that the first tracking report on the 25 per cent reduction in wireless service prices over the next two years will be available online in July 2020.” data-reactid=”32″>Additionally, Bains indicated that the first tracking report on the 25 per cent reduction in wireless service prices over the next two years will be available online in July 2020.
<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Download the Yahoo Finance app, available for Apple and Android and sign up for the Yahoo Finance Canada Weekly Brief. ” data-reactid=”33″>Download the Yahoo Finance app, available for Apple and Android and sign up for the Yahoo Finance Canada Weekly Brief.
At midday: North American markets jump on better-than-expected jobs data – The Globe and Mail
An unexpected jump in U.S. employment sent world equities and oil surging on hopes that the global economy has started to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, pulling investors out of perceived safe havens like government bonds and gold. Canada’s TSX gained 2.1%, with investors also cheering much better than expected jobs numbers on this side of the border.
U.S. nonfarm payrolls rose by 2.509 million jobs last month after a record plunge of 20.687 million in April. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the unemployment rate jumping to 19.8% in May and payrolls falling by 8 million jobs.
“The numbers are a huge surprise to the upside,” said Michael Arone, chief investment strategist at State Street Global Advisors. “It has confirmed what many folks were suggesting: that the effects on the labor market from the pandemic were temporary and that when the economy reopened and the infection rates started to diminish, that these jobs would come back.”
MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained 2.04%. The index is now down 4.5% for the year to date and trading at its highest level since early March, before the U.S. economy went into lockdown in an effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 829.16 points, or 3.15%, to 27,110.98, the S&P 500 gained 81.58 points, or 2.62%, to 3,193.93 and the Nasdaq Composite added 198.27 points, or 2.06%, to 9,814.08. The Nasdaq breached its all-time closing high reached in February but pared its gains to end the session a hair’s breadth below it. The broad S&P 500 is now down about 1% for the year to date.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index rose 326.20 points to 15,854.07. Gold stocks were lower, but otherwise gains were widespread across sectors, with energy rallying 7.9%. Financials rose just over 3%.
Canada added 290,000 jobs in May after two months of brutal layoffs, a surprise turn for the job market as provinces have only recently begun to ease lockdown restrictions. Analysts had been expecting half a million job losses during the month. Despite the gain, the unemployment rate rose to 13.7 per cent, the highest since comparable data became available in 1976, as more people started seeking jobs.
Equity gains were widespread before the surprise jobs reports. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside of Japan rose 0.9%, reversing early losses to stay near a 12-week high.
The index is up about 7.6% this week, on track for its best weekly showing since December 2011.
Emerging market stocks were up 0.7% and also on course for their best week since December 2011.
Hopes for a swift economic recovery sank U.S. government bonds, which had reached historic highs on fears that the pandemic would erode consumer demand. Benchmark 10-year notes last fell 20/32 in price to yield 0.8851%, from 0.82% late on Thursday.
“The sell-off in the bond market in the last few weeks seems to be justified,” said Subadra Rajappa, head of U.S. rates strategy at Societe Generale. “This is a tremendously positive step in the right direction, and probably points to a faster recovery, at least in the jobs market, than people had expected.”
Bond investors will get further insight into the likely direction of the economy when the U.S. Federal Reserve holds its regular two-day policy meeting next week.
Europe has now clawed back two-thirds of the losses incurred amid the coronavirus pandemic and Bank of America analysts said on Friday they expect European stocks to rise another 10% by the end of September on expectations of a pickup in business activity.
Set for a third straight week of gains, the euro rose to $1.1380, its highest level since March 10 and was on course for a weekly jump of 2.5%.
The dollar index made a tepid recovery, rising 0.08% to 96.84, but remained on track for its third consecutive week of losses and close to its lowest in nearly three months.
Hopes for an economic recovery sent oil prices surging. U.S. crude recently rose 4.97% to $39.27 per barrel and Brent was at $42.14, up 5.38% on the day.
Read more: Stocks that saw action Friday – and why
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Pattie Lovett-Reid: Why CMHC is tightening lending standards – CTV News
Concern has been expressed by CMHC that we could see a correction in home prices between 9% and 18% over the next 12 months. This concern has led to the tightening of the rules for offering mortgage insurance effective July 1.
These rules are intended for riskier borrowers who have less than 20% down payment to access CMHC’s default mortgage insurance.
But that’s not all — and yet another reason to keep your credit score in good standing — the minimum credit score of 680 is required instead of the current 600 to qualify for CMHC backing. This shift in the credit score says a lot about your ability and willingness to manage the debt you currently are using and have access to. To keep your credit score at the required limit, make your minimum payments on outstanding debt on time and limit the number of credit facilities you have.
Now to the numbers:
The gross debt servicing ratio will now be 35% of annual income – this includes – mortgage payments, taxes, heating costs and 50% of condo fees. Simply add them up and divide the total by your annual income. This number can’t exceed 35% and it was 39% before.
Your gross debt servicing number has gone down, meaning that your mortgages costs will need to be lower and that results in less home being purchased.
I’ll give you an example:
According to Ratehub.ca, using the current mortgage qualifying rate of 4.94% and GDS limit of 39, a family with an annual income of $100,000 and a 10% down payment would have qualified for a home valued at $524,980.
Under the new GDS limit of 35, the same household can now only afford a home of $462,860.
This represents a decrease in buying power of almost 12%, due to the change in the GDS limit.
With lower mortgages combine with other outstanding debt you may owe, your total debt service is also reduced to 42% from 44%. That includes your housing expenses plus credit card interest, car payments and loan expenses divided by your annual income.
Both measurements are key barometers for your financial institution when deciding your qualification for a mortgage.
Why the changes now?
The fear is many homeowners may have gotten into the real estate market prematurely with financial vulnerabilities that are now being exposed due to the pandemic.
The dream of owning a home is a goal for many; however, these rules are intended to protect two parties here – the potential homeowner who doesn’t have the financial maturity to protect themselves in a period of economic hardship and the taxpayer who is on the hook if they can no longer keep their mortgage in good standing. CMHC is a government-backed program.
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