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Amicus Brief in Paycheck Protection Program Case (20-1438)

WASHINGTON - April 27, 2020 - PRLog -- The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit today posted a "Friend of the Court" brief filed by William Michael Cunningham in Profiles, Inc. v. Bank of America Corporation. The case, 20-cv-1438, requests an injunction to stop Bank of America from limiting Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) applications. According to news reports, "Bank of America initially would only accept paycheck protection loan applications from small business clients that were active borrowers at the bank."

Our brief explains why the bank would impose such restrictive and limiting conditions on the allocation of public funds in the middle of a national crisis. We include data from our new national survey of small businesses launched on Thursday, April 23rd  on the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Emergency Advance (EIDL) Program. The survey is intended to get a true picture of how effective the lending programs have been. See: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/KK5ZGJ8

The Court has not formally accepted the brief.

According to news reports, "Baltimore-based public relations firm Profiles Inc. and several other small businesses are suing Bank of America Corp. and its national bank subsidiary, accusing the bank of wrongfully limiting access to the Paycheck Protection Program, which seeks to provide stop-gap funding to help small businesses keep workers employed during the COVID-19 pandemic."

Mr. Cunningham's brief focuses on the economic impact Bank of America's policies have on minority communities, specifically African American communities. The brief highlights the way the banking industry has changed over the past 30 years, and the impact of that change on minority communities.

The brief concludes that the PPP program was designed to distribute capital broadly, without reference to status as a customer of a specific bank.

In his Friend of the Court brief, Mr Cunningham shows that increased concentration in the banking industry has led to increased profits, a decline in service and increased risk. We conclude that the bank's behaviour in this case exhibits the same ruinous ethical standards that led to the financial crisis of 2008.

See our video on the EIDL Program: https://youtu.be/SzwQp11n-YQ

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