In a year rife with uncertainty about, well, pretty much everything, it’s not surprising that a list of American Banker’s most-read stories in 2020 would be dominated by accounts of lenders and regulators trying to navigate the Paycheck Protection Program on the fly.
Much of the discussion centered on how easy it would supposedly be for loans funneled through the SBA program, an unprecedented government lifeline for small businesses, to be forgiven. A host of issues with the forgiveness process remain largely unanswered as we head into the new year.
Continued fallout from Wells Fargo’s phony-accounts scandal and new questions about customer service practices at Bank of America also resonated with readers, as did a story on banks’ continued push to make “banking by Alexa” a thing.
The top spot, however, was reserved for a piece that came in the early days of the pandemic discussing how financial institutions would adapt to the COVID-19 precautions and lockdowns. Their solutions involved a combination of something new (digital on steroids), something old (the comeback of the drive-through!) and a lot of hard work. The story, like many pieces this year, showed the industry’s resilience and resourcefulness in finding ways to keep supporting the communities it serves.
With all that, here are American Banker’s top stories of the year.