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Bank of America First to Open Portal for Small-Business-Loan Program

Bank of America was the first major bank to open a portal for the $350 billion government-sponsored business-relief program. The program was supposed to go live at midnight Thursday into Friday.
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Bank of America  (BAC)  is the first of America's big four banks to have the online portal for the government's $350 billion small-business-relief program open Friday morning. 

The program was supposed to go live at midnight Thursday into Friday.

The government asked banks to help it disburse the $350 billion it set aside for loans to small businesses as part of the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill passed by Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump last week. 

On Thursday, however, just hours before the program was ready to go live, multiple banks told CNBC that they were not ready due to lack of key guidance from the Small Business Administration and the U.S. Treasury on exactly how to administer the program. 

JPMorgan emailed customers on Thursday, saying in part that the bank "will most likely not be able to start accepting applications on Friday, April 3rd as we had hoped."

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As of Friday morning at about 10 a.m. U.S. Eastern, the bank's website said that the new SBA Paycheck Protection Program loan is "in the works," before telling people to return for updates. 

"We are moving quickly to give you access to the Paycheck Protection Program loan under the new federal legislation. This loan can be used to cover payroll costs and other expenses during these difficult times," said a message from Jennifer Roberts, chief executive of Chase Business Banking.

Wells Fargo's website advised customers to reach out to their advisers.

Citigroup's  (C)  website said that the bank was experiencing high call volumes and most inquiries are being resolved through its automated response system.