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Banks Brace for Spike in COVID-19-Driven Loan-Losses

April 16, 2020, 09:16 AM
Filed Under: Banking News

After posting a dismal earnings report, with a 45% drop in profits for the first quarter, Bank of America announced it will set aside $3.6 billion to cover delinquent loans in the quarter.

JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo have taken similar actions. Wells Fargo said it has set aside $3.83 billion to cover potential loan losses, up more than $3 billion from the previous quarter. JPMorgan Chase set aside another $6.8 billion to cover potential losses on loans to consumers and businesses.

According to a transcript of its March 31 earnings call, BofA laid out $67 billion more in commercial loans in Q1, as clients drew down against their unfunded commitments and new commitments were made.

The bank also had requests for new commitments for for clients like grocers, healthcare companies, and others who need liquidity because of the rising demand for their services during this time.

"In the United States and around the world, governments are responding with historic measures in a very short period of time. Central Banks, governments and others have responded to provide tremendous liquidity in the -- to keep the markets functioning and to protect individuals and businesses in a historic scale," said CEO Brian T. Moynihan.

"The banking industry continues to play a vital role. We're well capitalized with strong liquidity and we have helped transmit the benefits of these programs as well as our own measures in the economy end markets."

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