Every lender wants to know how their portfolio compares to their peers, but typically it’s a struggle to get this kind of competitive intelligence. Using Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans as a proxy, we analyzed how lenders’ small business portfolios fared in 2020 — read on to discover the top 50 rankings.
In December 2020, the SBA released a trove of data about the PPP loans, including loan recipients, loan amounts, and lenders. We combined that data with our Merchant Transaction Signals to examine the performance of 706,000 businesses in our database that received PPP loans from the 50 lenders with the highest volumes of loans. We looked at card revenue growth at each of the businesses and used this analysis to create a comparison of the performance of each bank’s “PPP portfolio.”
Everybody suffered, but some more than others
2020 was a tough year for small businesses. Unsurprisingly, our data showed that in every lender’s portfolio a majority of PPP loan recipients saw card revenues (the amount of revenue a business receives from credit and debit card transactions) decline. Across all 50 lenders, only 35% of these PPP recipients saw card revenues grow in 2020. By comparison, 60% of the same businesses had growing card revenues in 2019.
Digging into the data, performance of PPP recipients varied substantially across lenders. The best performing lender was BancorpSouth Bank, with 45% of PPP recipients showing card revenue growth. The worst performer, Citibank, had only 29% of PPP recipients that grew card revenues in 2020.
Bigger isn’t always better
What kind of lenders had the best performing PPP portfolios? The top 10 was dominated by regional banks with less than $30B AUM: institutions like Glacier Bank, BancorpSouth, First Interstate Bank, and United Community Bank. Conversely, four of the five largest U.S. banks — Citibank, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and U.S. Bank — were in the bottom 10.
“What kind of lenders had the best performing PPP portfolios? The top 10 was dominated by regional banks with less than $30B AUM.”
Part of this may be due to a sacrifice of quality for quantity. We found a negative correlation between how many PPP loans a lender processed and the performance of their portfolio. While the top 10 performing lenders granted a median of 4,376 loans to businesses in our database, the worst 10 performing lenders granted a median of 16,219 loans.
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