By Paul Kiernan 

WASHINGTON -- The Federal Reserve published a partial list of banks and credit unions participating in its Main Street Lending Program in a bid to drum up interest in the program designed to help small and midsize companies weather the recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Boston Fed, which is running the program, posted a state-by-state list of more than 80 lenders that will accept new loans under the program, which officials say has the capacity to extend up to $600 billion in credit but has so far attracted limited interest.

Among the country's top five banks by assets, only Bank of America Corp. was listed. The other four -- JPMorgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo & Co., Citigroup Inc. and U.S. Bancorp -- all said they intend to use the Main Street program, though not necessarily for new customers.

The list published Tuesday only includes lenders that chose to be named. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell last week said that around 300 lenders had begun the registration process for the program, which was announced in April and opened for lender registration on June 15. They are among the almost 11,000 federally insured banks and credit unions that could be eligible to sign up.

Still, the list suggested large state-by-state disparities in the number of participating institutions, ranging from 13 in Texas to just one each in Hawaii and South Dakota.

Bankers have expressed doubts in recent weeks that the Main Street program's terms will allow it to reach many borrowers, particularly those most in need.

But Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren said in a press release that the central bank has "seen thousands of businesses express interest" in the program, which offers loans ranging from $250,000 to $300 million.

"Now that the program is fully operational and ready to purchase loan participations, we encourage more lenders to register," Mr. Rosengren said. "The list of participating lenders is likely to grow as more and more banks register."

Write to Paul Kiernan at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 08, 2020 16:22 ET (20:22 GMT)

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