To help small businesses that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, UBS announced today that it has created a new initiative to expand its current referral lending network to enable clients to access the Small Business Administration's ("SBA") new Paycheck Protection Program ("PPP"), a subset of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). UBS has currently made over 2,200 referrals of PPP loans to date, which represents over $1 billion of loans.
The firm developed a solution enabling small businesses to participate in the PPP. Through its current referral lender, Newtek Business Services Corp. ("Newtek"), UBS Financial Advisors and Client Service Associates, in addition to the banking specialists in UBS's US wealth management business, are now able to make PPP loan referrals through Newtek's online platform. This will help UBS's clients access the short term capital they need. It will also help provide an alternative for those clients who have not previously been SBA borrowers. Additionally, UBS Bank USA expects to initially make up to $2 billion available to support America's small businesses looking to gain access to the benefits provided by the CARES Act and the PPP.
"This new initiative will allow us to help a number of our clients and other small business owners obtain the loans they need to keep their operations running during the COVID-19 pandemic," said Tom Naratil, UBS Co-President Global Wealth Management and President Americas. "The flexibility of our model enables us to quickly implement new initiatives and have the ability to support our economy and the communities in which we do business during these challenging times."
"We believe it is our duty to help the economy, our clients and our community get back on their feet as quickly as possible," said Michael Blum, UBS Head of Banking Americas and UBS Bank USA Chairman. "We have already seen significant client interest in the PPP and are pleased that we have the ability to extend this opportunity to our Financial Advisors and Client Service Associates to support our clients."
The firm will also be redirecting fees associated with this initiative in order to continue to support small businesses across the US. Any fees generated will be donated to provide relief through emergency grants and funding to small business owners in underserviced populations. UBS will work through its network of community partners to manage this effort.
UBS provides financial advice and solutions to wealthy, institutional and corporate clients worldwide, as well as private clients in Switzerland. UBS's strategy is centered on our leading global wealth management business and our premier universal bank in Switzerland, enhanced by Asset Management and the Investment Bank. The bank focuses on businesses that have a strong competitive position in their targeted markets, are capital efficient, and have an attractive long-term structural growth or profitability outlook.
UBS is present in all major financial centers worldwide. It has offices in more than 50 regions and locations, with about 31% of its employees working in the Americas, 32% in Switzerland, 19% in the rest of Europe, the Middle East and Africa and 18% in Asia Pacific. UBS Group AG employs over 67,000 people around the world. Its shares are listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).