NEWPORT BEACH, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Farmers & Merchants Bank (F&M Bank) (OTCQB: FMBL) is hosting a pandemic-related artistic display, Service Above Self Defined, in the lobby of its Orange County headquarters at 4695 MacArthur Court in Newport Beach through May 21st.
The installation includes 16 empty take-out containers on a desk, each representing 1,000 meals (16,000 total) consumed by F&M employees while they worked long nights, weekends and holidays, away from their families, processing PPP loans; a stack of 4,200 papers on a desk, representing the number of PPP loans processed by F&M Bank last year; and 83 aprons across 8 garment racks, each representing 1,000 local jobs (83,267 total) saved by F&M’s PPP efforts.
When California issued a mandatory stay-at-home order in March of 2020, banks were exempted as providers of essential services. While not first responders, bankers are frontline workers who provide an essential service to people: access to their money. F&M’s Service Above Self Defined tells this story through the eyes of its employees.
F&M Bank did not close any locations or reduce office hours, and communication to clients increased regarding the safety and cleanliness of branches and alternative ways to bank.
When the SBA launched the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), 179 F&M employees processed PPP loan applications and implemented new technology to make the application and forgiveness process simple and efficient for clients. Often going to clients’ homes and places of business to obtain signatures and documents, F&M employees ensured clients that there was a real person who cared and was fighting for their business.
During 2020, F&M Bank processed 4,198 loans for the first round of PPP, totaling $713 million, saving 83,267 local jobs. After obtaining PPP loans for clients, F&M employees quickly shifted to obtaining PPP loan forgiveness on behalf of their clients. Today, 88% of F&M’s PPP borrowers have applied for loan forgiveness. By comparison, the SBA has received 63% of forgiveness applications as of May 10, 2021. $425 million of forgiveness funds have been received by F&M Bank as of May 13, 2021, and 99.9% of F&M’s forgiveness applicants are applying for and receiving full loan forgiveness.
“Difficult times bring out the best in people,” said Daniel K. Walker, F&M Bank Chairman and CEO. “We are extremely proud of the outstanding job the entire F&M Bank team has shown, with tremendous resiliency to keep our clients safe and provide the service and attention they have come to expect.”
About Farmers & Merchants Bank
Founded in Long Beach in 1907 by C.J. Walker, Farmers & Merchants Bank provides white-glove service to clients at 25 branches across Orange County, Long Beach, the South Bay and Santa Barbara, as well as through its Online and Mobile Banking platforms. The Bank offers commercial and small business banking, business loan programs, home loans, and consumer banking products, including checking, savings and youth accounts. Farmers & Merchants Bank is a California state-chartered bank with deposits insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (Member FDIC) and an Equal Housing Lender. For more information about F&M, please visit the Bank’s website, www.fmb.com.
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