Corporate account takeover. Phishing scams. Wire fraud. These are just a few of the cyber security threats businesses face every day. The consequences of a breech can be substantial, with recent reporting showing an average median cost of $30,000, while larger organizations have faced losses in the millions.

With these threats on the rise, it is more important than ever to protect your business against cyberattacks. At Platinum Bank, we have multiple products and processes in place to protect our clients’ data. Here are some steps you can take to protect your assets.

Banking Products That Protect against Cyber Security Threats

ACH Filter

An ACH filter prevents unauthorized debits from leaving your accounts. When you set up an ACH Filter, you create a list of pre-approved debits and credits. If any requested debits or credits fall outside this range, you are notified that your permission is required to proceed. That way, you have complete control over the money leaving your accounts. 

Positive Pay

Positive pay is a sister product to ACH filter. It works in the same way, but for written checks. You provide your bank with an approved list of checks to go out each month. If any activity falls outside the approved items, you make the determination if it should be paid or declined.

Out-of-Band Authorization for Wire Fraud Prevention

Out-of-band authorization protects your accounts against wire fraud. If your bank receives a request for wire funds transfer, out-of-band authorization requires the bank to confirm the transfer with you. They must contact you with the phone number on your bank account rather than any number provided in the wire transfer request. 

Processes and Policies That Protect against Cyber Security Threats

Multifactor Authentication

Multifactor authentication, also known as two-factor authentication, is an increasingly popular tool for protecting banking and other sensitive online accounts.

When you use multifactor authentication to access your online accounts, you will complete an extra step between logging in and accessing your data. Once you’ve provided your username and password, the system will send a verification code to you by email, text, or through an authenticator app. You need to enter that code to access your online accounts. Since it requires access to a separate account or a physical device, multifactor authentication provides very strong protection against cyber threats, so it is ideal to activate it whenever possible. 

Upgrade Passwords to Passphrases

When it comes to passwords, the longer and more complicated, the better. That is why many cyber security experts recommend upgrading passwords to passphrases. A good passphrase is long but easy for you to remember. The length will make it more difficult to bad actors to hack it.

Use a Password Manager

Another option is to use a password manager to randomize your passwords. These apps allow you to manage all of your passwords for all of your online accounts from a single dashboard. The manager can assign unique passwords made up of random letters, numbers, and symbols to your accounts. If you use a password manager, it is very important that you secure the manager with a strong passphrase and multifactor authentication. 

Perform Regular Cyber Security Audits

Annual outsourced audits of cyber security protocols are important components of any business’s cyber security plan. Many IT companies offer cyber security audits, where they run tests on security measures and even test employee compliance with cyber security policies.

How Platinum Bank Protects Banking Customers

Platinum Bank offers ACH Filter, Positive Pay, and out-of-band wire fraud protection to our clients. Internally, we implement and continuously improve on our own cyber security program, which includes automated processes to flag suspicious activity, dual controls for wire requests, and a multilayered security program. Our staff regularly participates in cyber security training to combat phishing attacks and other cyber threats.

At Platinum Bank, we are committed to keeping our clients’ data safe. Get in touch with us today to help ensure your business is protected.

On January 6, 2021, the U.S. Small Business Administration released initial details and guidelines for the updated Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Second Draw Loans. The full text of the guidelines can be found here. Second Draw Loans will be made to borrowers who already received loans in round one of the 2020 PPP process.

Final guidance has been issued and the application is available for download. We’re currently accepting applications and encourage you to reach out to your Relationship Manager with any questions regarding your specific loan.

Below are some of the notable parameters regarding the program:

  • Maximum loan size for this round is $2 million.
  • Business may have no more than 300 employees
  • Business demonstrated a reduction in gross receipts of at least 25 percent in any quarter in 2020 relative to the same quarter of 2019.
    • Revenue reduction can also be the full calendar year of 2020 vs 2019.
  • Payroll is 2.5x of the average payroll based off one of the following:
    • 2019 calendar year,
    • 2020 calendar year, or
    • past 12 months
  • Businesses classified in NAICS code 72 (generally, accommodation and food services) will be eligible to receive 3.5x of their average payroll.
  • Applicants must have utilized the full amount of their 2020 PPP loan on or before the expected date of the second draw PPP loan is disbursed.
  • All applicants must submit documentation to substantiate a revenue reduction of 25% or more (i.e. tax forms, financial statements).
    • Loans under $150,000 do not require this documentation at the time of application but will be required for forgiveness.
  • Payroll documentation required in the first draw will be the same for second draw loans.

We’ll continue to share updates as they become available. If you have any questions, please reach out to your Relationship Manager to help you navigate the process.

The House and Senate approved changes to the Paycheck Protection Program that is now headed to the President for signature.  The changes are more favorable for PPP Borrowers. 

It is important to note, once the President signs the new legislation, the final rules still need to be written by the Small Business Administration.  This means that complete clarity on the forgiveness process may not be known for several days.  Once those rules are written and a new Forgiveness Application is published the SBA, Platinum Bank will communicate with all PPP Borrowers to ensure a smooth forgiveness process.

Full details may be found here: https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/7010?overview=closed.

Following are a few highlights:

  • The “covered period” is extended from 8 weeks to 24 weeks.  This allows business more time to spend the loan proceeds for eligible costs.
  • Increases cap on non-payroll expenses to 40%, which lowers the payroll expense requirement to 60%.
  • Extends the period to when a business can apply for forgiveness to 16 months, which is 10 months after the covered period ends.  There will be no payment of principal or interest due during this period.

Your Relationship Managers and the entire Platinum Team are here to assist you as needed.

Dear Platinum Bank Family,

We are entering the fourth month of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has had profound effects on our businesses, our employees, and our families. At Platinum, we have worked hard over the last few months to help our clients submit PPP applications and plan for a future that none of us could have anticipated.

If the pandemic has taught us one thing, it is that proactively working together is the way through our current collective challenge. Sticking our heads in the sand won’t address the obstacles the pandemic has placed before us. At Platinum Bank, it has always been our mission to be a strategic business partner for our clients, helping them plan for the future and find solutions to their business challenges. These last few months have undeniably given us the opportunity to refine this part of our mission.

No one planned to be closed or operate at a reduced capacity this year. If your current plan does not account for this new reality, it is time to create a new plan. There are seven months left in 2020… what is your plan to maximize them?

The good news is you do not have to formulate a plan on your own. Your Platinum advisors are ready to help you devise a plan that is tailored to your unique business. Whether you need to strategize how to keep your business alive through the next year, secure working capital, or grow your business through acquisition, our bankers are prepared to help you. And, if you need expertise outside of commercial banking, we can recommend professionals to add to your trusted advisor team.

Now more than ever, it is important to have a strong relationship with your banker.  If your current bank or banker is not a partner and an advisor for you and your business, please reach out to us.  We would love to start a conversation with you and to learn how we can be of service to you and your business.   

Be Well and Stay Safe,

Pete Odell

Senior Vice President, Commercial Relationship Manager

Many business owners who applied directly with the SBA for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan Emergency Advance are now receiving notification that they have been approved for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan. Before accepting the Loan, Borrowers should carefully read and understand the restrictions and requirements within the Loan Documents. Not adhering to the provisions as written means the Loan would be in default, granting rights by the SBA to “…declare all or any part of the indebtedness immediately due and payable.” 

We have reviewed the Loan Documents for the Economic Injury Advance Loan and want to highlight specific requirements of which Borrowers should be aware. It is the Borrower’s sole responsibility to review and understand all the requirements of the borrowing arrangement. We encourage Borrowers to seek legal representation to assist in this process. 

Loan Authorization and Agreement (Form 1391) 

➢ The Loan is priced at 3.75% fixed for 30 years. No payments of interest or principal are due for 12 months, with the balance amortized over 30 years from the date of the Promissory Note. 

➢ Loan amounts over $25,000 are secured by all business assets of the company through a UCC filing. ➢ Under the heading: REQUIREMENTS RELATIVE TO COLLATERAL, Borrowers are agreeing to the following statement: “Borrower will neither seek nor accept future advances under any superior liens on the collateral securing this loan without the prior written consent of the SBA.

o This statement appears to restrict a Borrower’s ability to utilize an existing Bank line of credit if the line of credit is secured by the same collateral. 

➢ The use of Loan proceeds is restricted to working capital, and the Borrower must maintain itemized receipts for three years. 

➢ Borrower is required to submit proof of active hazard insurance to the address listed within 12 months. 

➢ Borrower is required to provide fiscal year-end statements to the SBA within three months after the close of their fiscal year end. 

➢ Upon written request of the SBA, Borrower will accompany such statements with an “Accountant Review Report” prepared by an independent public accountant at the Borrower’s expense. 

➢ Under the heading: LIMITS ON DISTRIBUTION OF ASSETS, Borrower is agreeing to the following statement: “Borrower will not, without the prior written consent of SBA, make any distribution of Borrower’s assets…”

o This statement appears to disallow any Borrowers from making cash distributions for any reason, such as for taxes (unless approved by the SBA). 

➢ Borrower must send within 180 days a Resolution from the Board of Directors authorizing the funds. 

Security Agreement (Form 1059) 

➢ Borrower certifies “Collateral is free of all adverse claims, liens, or security interests (unless expressly permitted by Secured Party).”

o Borrowers are required to obtain Bank approval for the SBA lien if the Bank holds a collateral interest in the company. 

For more information on this and additional SBA updates, please refer to our Platinum Bank website 

or contact one of our business bankers at 651.332.5200

View the online presentation of Gears & Gadgets “Fearless Crisis Leadership in Manufacturing” virtual panel discussion.Gears and Gadgets, presented by Minnesota Manufacturing Executives (MME), is made possible by a dedicated Sponsor Team of which Platinum Bank is a member. Platinum Bank extends a note of appreciation to Peter Odell, Senior Vice President, Commercial Relationship Manager, for his commitment to serving the manufacturing community through this organization.

On Wednesday evening, the $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) fund was exhausted. Washington is considering additional funding but until that occurs, banks cannot secure authorization for any new PPP loan requests. If you received notice that your loan was authorized, your funding is secured. If new funds are allocated, Platinum Bank will process the PPP applications for the few existing clients who were not able to secure funding before the pool ran dry. Currently, we are not accepting any additional applications.

As of today, we still do not have the final Small Business Administration rules on how the forgiveness process for PPP loans will work. Many of you have asked for this guidance and we understand the lack of clarity is frustrating. There have been indications the SBA is planning to create a spreadsheet to assist PPP borrowers with calculating the forgiveness amount. There are many examples of these on-line. To avoid creating further confusion, Platinum has elected to not create a forgiveness spreadsheet until additional clarification is received from the SBA. Once Platinum Bank receives the details about the forgiveness portion of the PPP program, we will immediately provide that information as well as direction on the submission process for your PPP loan forgiveness to Platinum Bank.

Following are specific actions you can take now that will allow you to streamline your PPP loan forgiveness process.

  1. Once the PPP funds are disbursed, the eight-week measurement period commences in which you are required to spend 75% of the funds on covered payroll cost and 25% on covered rent, utilities, and mortgage interest costs. Platinum Bank recommends all recipients of the PPP funds review the FAQ’s published by the SBA and Department of Treasury to assure your compliance and calculation of funds. If you have specific questions about calculations, we strongly recommend you reach out to your accountant.
  2. Maintain meticulous records of how the PPP funds are being used. As we do not know what detailed records will be required by the SBA, we suggest keeping thorough back-up records for how your PPP funds are being spent.

Your Relationship Managers and the entire Platinum Team are here to assist you as needed.

The federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is providing a $349 billion lifeline to small businesses across the United States. The PPP offers small businesses forgivable loans to cover the cost of paying their employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. For many companies, PPP loans have made the difference between laying employees off and keeping everyone on the payroll.

Due to its popularity, however, many small business owners have found it difficult to secure the much-needed funding. Banks are struggling to keep up with demand. That’s why Platinum Bank was honored to be featured by one of our customers in a recent St. Paul Business Journal interview with journalist Patrick Rehkamp.

Our bankers were able to help Oak Marsh Golf Course owner Steve Whillock apply for and secure his PPP funding earlier this month. In the interview, Steve explained how the Platinum Bank team helped guide him through the application process, including answering any questions he had about the new program and how he could use the funding.

While Steve’s losing golf-related revenue due to the statewide Stay at Home order, he says the PPP loan will help him and his team weather the pandemic.

We were honored to be able to help Steve and other small business owners like him with their PPP and other loans during this difficult time. We have been able to help 250 business owners receive approximately $100 million in PPP loan relief. Today, the federal government is working on a solution to allow us to continue to serve even more business owners.

If you have questions about the financial health of your small business or just need to talk to a banker, the Platinum Bank team is here to help. Contact us today to get the conversation started.

The federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is providing a $349 billion lifeline to small businesses across the United States. The PPP offers small businesses forgivable loans to cover the cost of paying their employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. For many companies, PPP loans have made the difference between laying employees off and keeping everyone on the payroll.

Due to its popularity, however, many small business owners have found it difficult to secure the much-needed funding. Banks are struggling to keep up with demand. That’s why Platinum Bank was honored to be featured by one of our customers in a recent St. Paul Business Journal interview with journalist Patrick Rehkamp.

Our bankers were able to help Oak Marsh Golf Course owner Steve Whillock apply for and secure his PPP funding earlier this month. In the interview, Steve explained how the Platinum Bank team helped guide him through the application process, including answering any questions he had about the new program and how he could use the funding.

While Steve’s losing golf-related revenue due to the statewide Stay at Home order, he says the PPP loan will help him and his team weather the pandemic.

We were honored to be able to help Steve and other small business owners like him with their PPP and other loans during this difficult time. We have been able to help 250 business owners receive approximately $100 million in PPP loan relief. Today, the federal government is working on a solution to allow us to continue to serve even more business owners.

If you have questions about the financial health of your small business or just need to talk to a banker, the Platinum Bank team is here to help. Contact us today to get the conversation started.

Beginning Friday, April 3, 2020, the SBA will begin accepting applications for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans.

Funds in this program are expected to run out quickly. There are specific calls to action you must do for potential entry into the program. Once applications are approved and accepted, Platinum Bank will work with you and your company to finish the details per program requirements.

Following is information on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP):

The necessary documents you must supply to Platinum Bank for potential entry into the PPP are:

  1. Paycheck Protection Program Application Form
  2. Detailed payroll reports for the past 12 months
  3. Most recent interim statement

PLEASE NOTE

  • Platinum Bank cannot guarantee that funds for all borrowers will be available.
  • Not all borrowers will qualify for funds.
  • Platinum Bank will work its best to get all qualified applications filed with the SBA but has no ultimate control of when that system runs out of authority and funding commitments.

Platinum Bank will continue to provide SBA updates as they become available. Please pass this information to your colleagues. They may also request to have these communications sent directly to them.

Contact us with questions: (651) 332-5200; www.platinumbankmn.com

Platinum Bank is Standing Ready to Support Our Clients and Business Communities

On Friday, March 27, 2020, legislation was passed and signed into law that will undoubtedly provide much needed support and relief for small business. The CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act is set to provide $2.0 Trillion in new spending to assist business and people as we battle through Covid19.

The Risk Management Association (RMA) has created a comprehensive CARES Act summary that can be found here.

What’s next?  Those new laws head to the agencies set to oversee them and committees whose job is to interpret them. Once authorized, the rules and guidance will be written and communicated to the Banks authorized to administer the program. Given the urgency to get dollars into small businesses hands, we expect those rules to be written very quickly.

How can your business be ready to go?  Make sure your financial records are up to date. This should include a detailed 12-month breakdown of your payroll records, as we believe this information to be the primary driver in determining the amount of eligible loan funds and amounts potentially forgiven under the CARES Act.

In the coming days, once these programs are ready, we will publish a checklist that will include all items necessary to move forward with application and funding under the CARES Act.

As a seasoned and preferred SBA lender – Platinum Bank will be ready when the programs are.

For more information, or to be added to these communications, contact one of our business bankers today at 651.332.5200.