Houston-area banks adjust operations to process millions in PPP loans

Managers at Texas Citizens Bank and Texan Bank said their employees have worked around the clock to keep up with demand for Paycheck Protection Program loan processing. (Justin Howell/Community Impact Newspaper)
Managers at Texas Citizens Bank and Texan Bank said their employees have worked around the clock to keep up with demand for Paycheck Protection Program loan processing. (Justin Howell/Community Impact Newspaper)

Managers at Texas Citizens Bank and Texan Bank said their employees have worked around the clock to keep up with demand for Paycheck Protection Program loan processing. (Justin Howell/Community Impact Newspaper)

The coronavirus pandemic has given the term ‘banker hours’ a new meaning, bank managers said, as Houstonians apply for millions in Paycheck Protection Program loans to keep their businesses open.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, features several programs administered through the U.S. Small Business Administration, including the Paycheck Protection Program. There have been two waves of funding. The program is intended to help small businesses retain employees during the nationwide spread of the coronavirus.

Kristi Koncaba, president and chief operating officer for Texan Bank, said in an email that the pandemic and its demands have allowed the bank to shift focus toward processing the PPP loans. Texan Bank had to act quickly to prepare to help customers, which was not easy based on available information, she said.

“It was all hands on deck at first to set up a process and procedure quickly,” she wrote. “The CARES Act was approved, and the expectation was that we would be ready within days. On top of that, the guidance from SBA and the Treasury was minimal and trickled in little by little each day.”

The bank has had 470 loans approved, loaning out just shy of $50 million as of May 7, Koncaba said. The average loan size has been $104,642 with a median loan size of $33,600. If the businesses utilize the loan proceeds “as they should (to save jobs),” Texan Bank will have saved more than 5,500 jobs in the Houston area, Koncaba added.


“We are incredibly proud of our team,” she wrote. “This may not look like a lot compared to a large bank, but being a small community bank like Texan Bank, it is a big deal.”

Texan Bank has five locations in Houston. The bank processed loans on a first-come, first-served basis, approving and funding loans with amounts from $2,000 to more than $2 million, Koncaba said. Loans will continue being processed until the stimulus runs out, she said.

“The team worked every day—including weekends and Easter Sunday—late into the night in order to underwrite, approve, process and fund these vital job saving loans,” Koncaba wrote. “It was a busy and stressful time, at times very frustrating, but we feel so blessed that we were able to offer a product to our community that helped local small businesses save jobs and perhaps not have to close their doors.”

Texas Citizens Bank, which has two banking centers in the Bay Area and one on Rice Boulevard, has processed 479 PPP loans totaling $97 million; 297 of those loans were in the first round, totaling $73 million; and the other 184 loans were in the second round, totaling $24 million, TCB Marketing Strategist Camille Trent said in an email.

TCB Chief Operating Officer Jimmy Allen said in an email that types of businesses applying, as well as the amount they applied for, varied greatly. Types of businesses in the mix included medical practices and clinics, emergency medical facilities, employee staffing companies, retailers and legal and real estate service firms. Like Texan Bank, applicants at Texas Citizens Bank were processed on a first-come, first-served basis, and their loan amounts were qualified based upon Small Business Administration guidelines regarding payroll expenses, Allen said.

Even before the Paycheck Protection Program officially opened April 3, Texas Citizens Bank was inundated with requests for PPP loans, per the release.

Duncan Stewart, Texas Citizens Bank chairman and chief executive officer, said in the release that the bank hired additional SBA experts to assist in the processing and, like at Texan Bank, staffers worked long evening and weekend hours to approve and process the loans.

“This is a historic time,” Stewart said in an April 23 media release. “Many years from now, [the team] can look back with great pride in the part they played over these weeks to save companies and the livelihoods of their employees.”

By Colleen Ferguson
A native central New Yorker, Colleen Ferguson worked as an editorial intern with the Cy-Fair and Lake Houston | Humble | Kingwood editions of Community Impact before joining the Bay Area team in 2020. Colleen graduated from Syracuse University in 2019, where she worked for the campus's independent student newspaper The Daily Orange, with a degree in Newspaper and Online Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and a degree in Spanish language and culture. Colleen previously interned with The Journal News/lohud, where she covered the commute in the greater New York City area.

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