Leaders in Lending
Leaders in Lending

Episode · 1 year ago

Digital Innovation: Adapting and Partnering in a Brick & Mortar Industry w/ Gary Fan

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

For a lot of smaller community banks and credit unions, the COVID-19 pandemic has created unique challenges as the world makes a hard left turn into a more digital focused landscape in every area, including banking.

Gary Fan, Executive Vice President and Chief Banking Officer at Gateway Community Bank, joins us to talk about the shift to digital and what it means for smaller financial institutions.

Key topics covered:

- Shifting to a more digitally enabled world

- Balancing traditional offerings with new and innovative products

- Why the COVID-19 pandemic forced Gateway to take a look at their digital offerings

- The need to adapt and be open to new possibilities, especially for small community banks

- Making sure that small financial institutions stick around long term

To hear more from Leaders in Lending, check us out on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or on our website.

Listening on a desktop & can’t see the links? Just search for Leaders in Lending on your favorite podcast player.

Think banks do need to differentiate themselves because if we're just playing kind of the commodity type game, we just know there will be continued consolidation and many of these media banks and retail banks will exist in ten years. And I think for most of the leadership team, investors and for the we want to continue to be a part of our community. So we do have to look at these types of partnerships, otherwise you know you're just not going to be here in future. You're listening to leaders and lending from upstart, a podcast dedicated to helping consumer lenders grow their programs and improve their product offerings. Each week here, decision makers in the finance industry offer insights into the future of the lending industry, Best Practices around digital transformation. In more let's get into the show. Hi and welcome to leaders who lending. I'm your host, Jeff Keltner. In today I'm joined by Gary Fan from Gateway Community Bank. Gateway is look at an Oakland serving the kind of Bay area and Greater California area. Is a relatively small bank, but Gar you also nationally chartered. So but unique in the smaller bank world to have OCC oversight and in a national charters. That's exciting. Gary's the EVP and chief banking officer, which means you oversee, I understand, sales, marketing and operations, which it seems like a lot of stuff on your plate. Gary, that seems like quite a bit of the institution you got to manage right there. Yeah, thanks. Thanks for the enjoyed Jeff. It is a big responsibility, but we have a great team and great support posts in the organization so it's not quite as stressful as it's well, I appreciate you make it time to talk to us today. I'm really looking for to the conversation. You and I spoke a little bit before we started and you know, one of the things I ask me guests is what's a commonly held belief about consumer lending that you passionately disagree with, and I really enjoyed your answer to this. So I'd love to ask you here and just have you talk about, you know, your perspective on consumer lending and how maybe it's misperceived by many. Yeah, yeah, I think. I mean general I think the general population views consumer lending, or at least the people making consumer loans, as people trying to take advantage of the client and I think in reality there are organizations that are only...

...caring about their bottom line and all they care about is profitability and how quickly they can grow. But there's a significant population of banks and some of these are the biggest banks, some of them are community banks like us, who we're looking for as a mutually beneficial relationship, and if there's something that only benefits the bank but doesn't benefit the customer, we're not going to want to pursue that because that doesn't create the long term relationships that make sense for where we want to go. So I think the misconception for me is just a kind of misinterpretation of what lenders are doing out today in the market place. You know, I think there are good lenders, just like there are bad lenders as well. You know, I think the future of how we can tell whether that's the case or not is more transparency and more education, and I think that's something gateways trying to do. I know that something that start doesn't grint job and it kind of showing all that information to clients before they make those decisions. I love that almost every conversation I have we end up with helping the consumer or achieve something that's meaningful in their life being the true North Star. I think that's it's always nice to see that alignment. You also made a comment about you think of the bank's role in some ways as giving people time. I'd love for you to expand on that a little bit. So I thought that was a really interesting way to you know, typically I think of the banks job is giving people money. Oh, it's so right, but you thought of it in terms of time, which I thought was a really interesting way to conceptualize what you're the value you're providing in terms of a loan. Yeah, I think, and I can't take credit for this, this is kind of my earliest business mentor who told me the most valuable commodity in the world is time. Is something no matter how much money you make, you can't ever buy any more of, and I think that that resonates a lot with me. And I know you know the consumer letting space. I think that's actually how I think about loans. You know, example I use was, you know what, someone's looking to buy a house. If you're looking to buy a house in the bay area, you might have to save a million dollars and whatever job you're in. Even if you're a highly pay tech software engineer, that's going to take you a few years to accumulate that amount of money after tax to be able to buy a house. What banks do, and other lenders is to give you time, like, instead of saving ten years to buy that house, you can save maybe two years and live in that house for those eight years and we can lend...

...you the difference so you can enjoy those things that you want to enjoy now. That does come with the costs, you know, you do have to pay some interest, but in the grand scheme of things, I think that's a tradeoff. You're trading some additional compensation in your future or time you get to enjoy that stuff now, and it doesn't just apply to mortgages. Similar to maybe a car loan or a business loan. That kind of thing helps you scale your business quicker, as you can retire earlier or you your goals faster, and generally that's that's how I think tum reason to think about these opportunities. You know, I think loans that are available. They should be thinking about this in the framework of looking at it as additional time that they get or kind of convenience of their life. I love that comparison, that way of thinking about its I I had not thought of it that way, but it makes a lot of sense now. My understanding is historically, getway has been a somewhat traditional, you know, lender in terms of the kinds of loans you focused on. Also that the kind of process being primarily branch oriented. Can you give it be a little bit of history there on the kind of loans you guys typically do and what that process looks like, and then I'd love to dive into how you're thinking about how that shifts as we move into a more digitally enabled world. Yeah, I mean dayway traditionally is a kind of brick and mortar community bank. We've had a few branches in the bay area and we did, you know, commercial real estate loans, presidential mortgage loans. We then the old fashioned way on paper and you talk to a loan officer, goes underwriting. You know, it takes forty five days to eventually close and all that. And one of the things I'm in charge of today is helping to digitie and modernize the bank. That that really means figuring out new channels to reach more customers and even the existing customers, creating a customer experience as much smoother, that's quicker and sort of less friction, and I think one of the ways of doing that is to have online digital channels that, you know, allow convenience and flexibility. So what you know, even down to the most basic thing of opening a bank account, historically you got to come in, bring your forms of ID, sit down, talk to a banker. It takes forty five minutes. We're working on a project to be able to do that entire process online through your mobile phone.

You that in three minutes with even more kind of security features to make it just as safe as talking maker in person. So I think opportunities like that and then opportunities to do this also in the lending space, to take a look at how can we do consumer loans, how can we do borage loans? Have, when you even business loans like this in the future. Those are the opportunities I think that gateways pursuing too, going to open this up and be able to serve more customers in California maybe the rest of the country in the future. Love it. So how do you think about when you're when you're looking at you you mentioned simplifying the current processes but also getting into kinds of consumer lending or CNI lending or the things that haven't traditionally been available for the bank. How do you think about the prioritization or where you focus those efforts in terms of, you know, the standard mortgage is, you know, commercial real estate deals, versus being able to open up the new kinds of assets and products that you can actually bring to your your current customers, to new customers when you're thinking about going digital, because there's kind of a two different things right take take my old thing and put a better experience into it and bring products and maybe we're impossible for me to offer profitably before into the fold for my customers. Yeah, I think a lot of this is based on new opportunities that arise. You know, I think there's companies like upstart that helped us look at different opportunities that we might have thought from a pure costandpoint didn't make sense or we couldn't make a work you. Ultimately, I think for gateway and for I know many banks out there, it really comes down to the risk profile and I think generally banks really look at risk in a very kind of black and white way. I think most bankers would say, Hey, if it's a real estate fact loan, then it's more safe than a non kind of collateral based bone and I think that's starting to change. We're starting to see some differences. I think for gateway, we have some people on our board that see it that way and some people that don't. You know, what we like to do is try out kind of pilot programs that are smaller in size so that we can test out, get the financial results that everyone's looking for and then really vet to see what the reality is. You know, you can always kind of think about consumer lending as a higher risk loan category, but you know, within consumer...

...loans there are a lot of good insumers that are going to pay on time, that are going to, you know, be really, really great customers, and I think it's just a matter of how do we locate those and how do we on board those onto the bank, and I think that's the approach that we want to take. And once you have the kind of results then and help change the rest of the management's minds, you can change the board's minds and ultimately the investors, you know, who have such a big say and kind of the future of the banks. You know they're really looking for a return. So if you could show them I get better returns, I have less risk and you know, ultimately the experience shows that this is maybe even less risky with higher yields and let's say residential mortgage or commercial real estate property. And then I don't see any reason why this can't be a bigger part of community banks balance sheet on them a want to go forward basis. Yeah, I love the concept that you have here of limiting risk in different ways. Right, because there's the risk of an individual loan and I think a lot of times banks get very caught up in the credit risk of of an individual loan. But you also have to look at, to your point, how big is the portfolio I'm building in this category? And so therefore, what's the what's the risk to the bank? And then you know, as you and I were talking to size alanes, because you know, when you have smaller dollar sizelones but larger number, there's there's a safety in the diversification across a larger number of consumers versus may be larger loans where you want to feel more safety. So I think it's a really interesting concept, like how do you think about risk on different levels? To get comfortable with the way you may go. I don't you want to say anything that, but that was we were talking about. that. I thought that was really interesting way to think about the breakdown of risk. Yeah, no, and I you know, I think the other thing that we chatted a little bit about was just how banks look at risk and I think as time goes on, I think that's going to shift and I feel like at the regulatory levels we're starting to see some flexibility and looking at other products that maybe work traditional for the kind of the community making space. I think the other important thing that I know kind of the tech industries done this better than anyone, is sort of the customer acquisition aspect of this, and I think specifically because they'mer letting if you if you're working on a project where you're looking at, you know, going to grab new consumer loans, the other opportunities. These can...

...be clients. You know, there's a lot of people that not as loan clients, but the posit clients as well, and I think most most banks, you know, big small regional community or kind of the megabanks. The reality that's that's actually what they want. I think the value really comes from this kind of entire relationship you can capture with the YEP, the customer, and so, you know, I think I would be I think heards more banks that take a look at opportunities for them that expand product lines and the extend products and services so they can reach a new client base and ultimately, on a longer term basiss will be very helpful to to that growth of that particular instit yeah, it's interesting. I you know, I hear so many banks who, I think the historical approach is customers come in through deposits and then they're monetized through lending. In this idea that you you could actually lead with lending and bring some of the in and expand that relationship. It's always seemed as a tech guy backwards to me and that like you make the money on the lending. So wouldn't you want to have the first product be a profitable one? Do you see that shift and people starting to look at bringing customers into the bank through not just a deposit or the standard you know, here's here's an incentive to get your checking account here, and then the assumption that you'll win the business, but actually figuring out how to bring people in through other products in the deposit and then actually bring them into that depository relationship as the second product as opposed to the first. Is that something you're you guys are thinking about or you see happening in the industry? Because it is, I think, a different approach than historically I've seen banks mentally take to how they acquire and then grow relationships. Yeah, I know for gateway that's definitely something we're discussing on a regular basis with management and with the board. We don't mind whether we're leading with deposits or loans the ultimately what we want is the mutually beneficial relationship. We want to grow with these customers, consumer customers and business customers, as they grow their financial lives. We want to be there to support them and grow with them. So I think banks are starting to look at it this way and I think we owe a lot that to kind of technology sector. And you know, historically it was even more about customer acquisition than anything else, revenue profitability. That was it was just more a how can we go grab all the customers, and I think there...

...is that type of thinking that's bleeding into banking a little bit. I will say that. You know, I do. The end of the day, though, because this business model is a little bit more constrained versus others due to destructure of financial services, maybe we as an industry have being been a little bit more conservative. But the positive thing is I do, I do see that changing as new leadership takes over and some of these new entities. I know you guys started some of your real digital offerings through the pandemic with the PPP program tell me a little bit about, you know, how you got that going, the results you saw and then kind of maybe how that points the way to what you think is possible in the bank longer term from a digital point of view. Yeah, so, you know, the PPP loans that were part of the cares act were a big kind of test case for us and we really didn't know what exactly to expect with that. Originally we really just thought we would offer that to our existing customers. But we work with some technology partners and we were able to a create a online application so that the entire process, the upload of documentation, the kind of review before submission the SBA, all of that information was done online, through one seamless system, and what it showed us was that it gave us an ability to scale. So at the end of this program through the two kind of two draws in the two rounds, I think as as a community maybe I think we funded over a thousand moans for over fifty million dollars in funding. Cree and our board was extremely surprised. And then, you know, financial impact to us was this great thing, right. We obviously generated some interesting feeing come for us. And then for us there was that kind of altruistic feeling of we really got to help out our local community, the restaurants that were here, they were impacted, the small businesses that were heard, the employees that maybe we're going to lose their jobs. So it just felt there is this mutually again, mutually beneficial thing that everyone got to be a part of. And then at the end are in our board and their management looks at the financial results and they say wow, with this amount of effort we were able to generate this amount of return, and so we're thinking, well, why can't we do that in other kind of products and services as well, which kind of let us to think about opportunities like upstart and other companies...

...that can help banks kind of expand into things that maybe they weren't as comfortable with before. But because we now have this experience, we now how, we know how to do it. Not to say that there weren't any growing pains, because they're definitely were. Yeah, overall, you know, is a successful program and I think it really created the foundation for gateway to say, okay, yeah, let's let's pursue this on a more kind of aggressive basis and let's really go find out things that other institutions aren't doing right, because ultimately, I think that's something that's important to I think banks do need to differentiate themselves, because if we're just playing kind of the commodity type game and we just know there will be continued consolidation and many of these community banks and regional banks will exist in ten years and I think for most of the leadership team, investors and for the we we want to continue to be a part of our community. So we do have to look at these types of partnerships. Otherwise, you know, you're just not going to be here in the future. Yeah, you talked about that risk of not being here. What do you think drives that kind of systemic or a really existential risk for you that if you're not able to adopt some of these things, you know, to your point, you meet, you may not be here in a decade or a little bit more. What do you think it is it drives that kind of risk to the bank and then how do you think about, you know, how you offset that? And I think this is not just specific to the banking industry by ourselves. I think this is something we've seen in almost every industry. When technology comes in, a lot of the old guard or people that are currently in authority positions today, they're more worried about how do I keep my job, how do I keep my regulators happy? How do I keep my investors happy today? And that's not a bad perspective. I think that's what you know, some managers and some these acutives, that's what they're focused on. Like, how do I make my investors okay today? How do I know make sure that we get the yields that we want and get the right type of returns? But I think if you don't think about the big disruption type of the events, then what you're going to turn yourself into is what we've seen in the other industry. So this is netflix versus blockbuster, this is vers versus taxis, you know, this is Amazon versus brickin order. It's we already see it happening and it's you know, there's this big shift in kind of digital channels and digital delivery and I...

...think if you're an institution that they say, I'm just going to stick my head in the ground and not look at these type of opportunities, I really think your days are numbered and the statistics speak for themselves. I think, you know, I was reading maybe fifteen, twenty years ago there may be over twentyzero banks, and then us today that numbers under five thousand. So I mean, you can keep hoping that you'll be the one that continues to be here, but if you're not going to if you're not going to adapt and change, then you know you're going to be at risk. And I think the last point on this really is the fundamental reality of banks is the majority of clients that to banks have today are from relationships they've cultivated over decades, right, and are great things. Are Great relationships with with business people, with consumers that love the bank. You like working with the bank, but when that population retires and you see that giant wealth transferred to the new generation, the newer generation isn't banking with community banks or regional banks. They're going to bank with whoever makes the easiest and they might not even bank with the big banks like a wells or a chase. They might see a new fin tech company or a new company that does things very differently and hits the things that they want to be involved with and they'll leave. And so I think that's the existential thread that banks really really need to address and I think what I see is a lot of talking. Everyone has a great idea, but at the end of the day it's about execution, actually doing what you're saying that you're going to do. So that I think that's the that's the risk to this industry and I think the folks that are going to be able to execute and do the things today to prepare for that are going to be the ones that win in the future. I think it's a great point. I'm really curious to on the you talked about the PPP loan program kind of opening your eyes is to what was possible and also, I guess I would internalize what you said. It's kind of building confidence in the team in their ability to execute in this space. So right, and that's in my career I've always seen that sometimes you got to you got to kind of start small and grow. You can't boil the ocean. Are you got to pick a problems off? Have you seen any changes in approach or mentality or anything you learn from the successes and the challenges of that program that you're applying to you? What are we going to do next and how do we think about making the next program more successful or or getting approved internally or talking to the regulators...

...about what we're doing? That you're kind of taking away from those early experiences to help you in the second experiences? Yeah, hundred percent. I think some of this is a general stubbornness and I'll put myself in that situations. There's certain concepts that I have that this is what I learned, this is what I what I think works. And you know, when you try something new, it's almost it feels like an attack against the value system that you have, and I think that's part of the resistance. We all just need to kind of give into a try out. You know, I think one of the greatest things I've seen with PPP is sort of convinced all of existing management and we have some folks that have been in the industry for for multiple decades and they're like, this is great. You know, maybe we don't have to physically underwrite every loan ourselves. Maybe we can use an algorithm to do it. This makes my job easier. Automated reports. If the regulators want to see something, I have all the data there. Everything is disit ties and automated, and I think part of it is because what they were kind of earlier in their career. They they never had the chance to deal with processes like this. So they're sort of a hesitation, not because they don't like the new thing, is maybe they just don't know how it works and if you have partners that can help walk you through that and it really helps in at the end of the day, I think it's a digitization. I think is a win for everyone. Went for clients, went for bankers, went for the leadership and the win for the regulators. You know, when the regulators ask for what are you doing with this portfolio? If we if we have everything, it's not paper files that we got a scan and then you know it's not in itself, bides in a very nice present, nicely presented, reported a nice dashboard, and if they want detail they can click in and look at it. I think these are the kind of the type of tools that exist in a bunch of other industries and maybe makings just taking a little bit of time to adopt them. But I think I'm very optimistic about the future of it and I think that's really help you know, kind of shift the perspective and at least the bankers that I know at Gateway and also not you're kind of thinking more how can we do these types of new projects and use technology to help us? Yeah, I think that's that's a great learning and I hope it serves you well over your next couple of projects, because I think it's certainly it takes time, but again, if when you're aligned on that true north of helping out your customer, I think...

...that when you can see how these things connect, that always helps people come on board. When you think about these projects as a smaller institution, how do you think about the you know, one of the things I was here from mixes build by partner. I'm always a little curious what buying partner or you know, I think they're often more similar to people think. But how do you think about, you know, deploying digital capabilities in terms of what what you want to own in house, where you want a partner? How do you think about that, particularly is somewhere that doesn't have as many resources as a JP Morgan Chase or a, you know, a city bank or a wells Fargo. How do you come down on where you think about what you want to build, what you want to where you want to partner externally? Yeah, I think I think it's similar to you know, what's have a customers as your bank want. You know, I think ultimately it comes down to meeting salesperson, meeting the implementation team kind of just seeing exactly who this company is that you're trying to partner with. I know there's a there's a lot of noise out there. There's a lot of promises made about the capabilities. You know, there's even, you know, kind of commentary about, you know, we're true partners, where there's some institute and some companies that present themselves a partners but they're more trying to aggressively kind of eat market. Share or maybe one day they want to buy a charter and they want to think themselves and they're trying to tip in there, to git their toe in the water and get those partnerships. I think. I think you have to be somewhat skeptical initially. But again, if you take a look at what you just said, you know true North for any institution, any service institution anyways, which should be we're looking for a mutually beneficial relationship with our customer and for the company. Then you really can find martnerships at work. Right, if there's companies that you what they say, you're living up to, you know, you can take testimonials from their other customers and take a look at what they're actually doing, you know, from a business aspect standpoint and you know, ultimately, for something like, you know, the partnership between upstarter and gateway, I think we're looking at, you know, are we are? Are We, you know, coming together to great a better channel to go serve a customer? And is that mutually beneficial for you, for us and for the customer? At that answer is yes, then then yeah, I think that's that's how you tell whether it makes sense or not, and I think you got to be honest to if you're in a position...

...that's making this decision and that's not your strength, you maybe don't read people the right way or you feel like you don't. You know, you don't have the full picture. That's when you should bring in other people in your organization to help you make that decision. That's what your management seems for, that's what your bards for. Maybe it's your job to kind of be concise. You'll distill all that information to a one page, very simple overview so they can make a better decision. But you know, I think, I think it is. It's not easy to determine, you know, who's the best partner, what makes most sense for your market. But I think it's just part of that due diligence of yourself into your organization and you just have to go through that. Profit Ketty, well, I'm glad we were able to make you comfortable through our conversations with upstart and know we spend a lot of time trying to make sure we can do that well because it's important to us to be a good partner. I've wouldn't ask one of the question before I get to the kind of final three that I always in the podcast with. Just as when we were talking earlier, you use the word leap frog to describe one of the things I think made you excited about the opportunity is is an institution that wasn't as far along the digital journey, you know, a year ago, maybe some others. So tell me what you mean by that. Like it. What is it about you the ability to leap frog that's got you excited, and what do you mean by by leap frogging in that in that context? Yeah, I think you know, gateway was just a tradition, again, traditional brick and mortar bank, and we did everything sort of Banglie in our systems or maybe a little bit outdated, and one of the opportunities is obviously take a look around, see what other people are doing and then, you know, make sure your products and services catch up to the competition. But I think that's a little shortsighted because it's not as if competition staying staying Pat Right. Everyone everyone's involving and and shifting. So I think with Gayway we're looking at it as an opportunity to a you know, do some of the catchups, because we need to do that. But the lead frog idea comes with. Okay, well, what are the things that we want to do that we don't have the capability to and maybe you know we don't have the staff to do it. We don't have to scale to do it. But with a partner you can fill in those gaps. You know you could. You can. You know, most banks don't employ software engineers, but guess what, there is an entire industry of software engineers that want to figure out how they can monetize their services to help financial services.

So find those partners that can help you. You know, again, if it's mutually beneficial, then then it makes sense, and that's what you know, you have lawyers for. That's why you have an engagement agreement, you have contracts, you know, to kind of spell out the terms as best as possible. But you know, ultimately it is it is a people you know, business is sort of a people thing. And so if you if you're if you meet management of the other side and you guys connect and your goals are the same place and that gives you a much higher likelihood of having a longer term a good, positive relationship. And you know, that's that is what gateways trying to do. We're trying to kind of leap frog other folks within this industry because it was we believe. You know, if you don't do that, then then you're not going to be here long term. Yeah, I think that message to that the the competitions and standing still is really important. Because you've got that, you have to find the partners and the strategies not only get you two what's par today or better, leap frog into things that people can't do, but also acknowledge it, like I want. The strategy is going to keep me on that innovation change, because I my sense isn't that that's slowing down, that it's a step function change and then we're done, and that technologies today will be the technologies for the next decade. That's right. Ten years from now it's going to look even more different from today than today does from ten years ago. And how are you on the not just the right technology for today, but on the path to be in that same position ten years from now? I think is a really important question. Yeah, I agree a hundred percent. All right, gay, well, I always in this podcast with the same three questions, so I hope you thought about them before you came here. Because they're not easy, but here they are and I kind of do them rapid fire. But what's the single best piece of career advice you've ever gotten? Yeah, but I meds in this earlier. But but I think the best piece of the career Vice I've ever gotten is that never buy more time. So do the things you want to do. Don't wait for them. Right if there's a digital opportunity want to pursue, go do that. You're unhappy with where your work that change that. You know, we only have a little limited amount of time and I think people need to do what they want to do. I think maybe you took this amated life advice and not just career advice. It's a great overall perspective that I very much appreciate. So, Segon, what's the single best piece of advice you've gotten about the consumer lending space? Yeah, I think so. You Got Really Lucky. One of the...

CEO's I recorded to gave me a shot to to run at PNL and he gave me kind of the consumer lending practice of a of bank in North America, and one of the piece of advice he gave me was you don't listen to the predecessor. Don't listen to me. Just go in and, you know, take things apart, try to understand it for yourself and make your own conclusions, and I think I really took that to heart. So I did spend I think maybe sixty two nine days really sitting with every person and following the client experience, following the the loan file from start to finish, and that really gave me a really, really good understanding of how that particular bank did that particular business. And I think as a kind of leaders and banking I think sometimes we take things for granted and we don't fully understand every step of the process and with that you kind of miss out on efficiencies or opportunities that you can improve. So I think you know, consumer lending is something that you know as a concept. I know there's a lot of banks that do it. I think from a community banking standpoint, a lot of the smaller banks don't focus too much on it, but I think that just means there's a big opportunity to on board a new line of business that can be very beneficial both again to the bank and to the client and ultimately something that could help the bank grow. So you know, I think if you if you don't have that function in your institution, I think that's a great opportunity for you to kind of kind of build it up soup the knots, and I think that type of advice that I got from that particularly or really help shape how I look at new products and services for for gaway. It's such a fantastic answer. Reminds me of two things. One is kind of Elon monk's approach to first principles, thinking not and you kind of mentioned how much the nerve should there is around the way we've always done it, and I think it's easy not to understand, really understand the way we've always done it and then why maybe that is or isn't the right way or the right set of assumptions. And so understanding at a detail level how your business operates and then how you can understand what the opportunities are to improve is is such a fundamental thing that, to your point, many people just don't do. You can come into a roll and go I you know, these things are just kind of givens and I'll just leave them be. Diving into the details...

...gives you such opportunity to to see the areas for improvement, the opportunities. It's a it's a great piece of advice, I think, for any any category of business. But I counsumer learning for sure. And then my last question. What is one bold prediction for the future? Doesn't have to be consumer lending. Great if it is, but you know, I've had super bowl predictions. I've had somebody wouldn't come up with one, but you know what's her what's your bold prediction for the future? It's a quick well, but not super bowl. And this is this more recent news, but I heard yesterday that Aaron Rodges doesn't want to return and the Green Bay packers and that. So I feel like whatever whatever drama they got to work out there is probably means Green Bay's not going to be in the best chance to compete. For what you make a bullet prediction green bay doesn't make it better. They're my team's I wish, I wish they would get it together, but it sounds like they're not going to. But anyways, I think that the bigger prediction I think relating to the financial services and consumer learning is I do think banking in particular is very ripe for some significant disruption. I personally believe that what's happened in these other industry he's you know, whether it's transportation or whether it's not a manufacturing with Tesla and all these other companies, whether it's Uber and taxi drivers, whether it's Netflix, of blockbuster and Amazon and breaking mortar, this is what's going to happen to banking and where the reason why it hasn't happened yet is because of kind of the way that financial services in structured. But it is going to change and I feel like it's coming. So I do think when the people that have been in charge are getting close to retiring and kind of the next generation gets an opportunity to lead, we're going to see some significant disruption and I think with disruption that's there's a lot of good for the new clients, you know, existing minds who participate in this space. I think it will cause a lot of changes, you know, from a kind of product services and even the way that banks are structured. And I mean, I think hope it. Covid really helped accelerate that, but I do think it to your point, I think in ten years the banks that are kind of currently kind of holding a lot of the power and a lot of the kind of strength in this industry. I think you'll see some significant shifts and some of them might, you know, be even...

...stronger, but I'm pretty sure a lot of them that are in really, really strong positions today are no longer going to be in those same positions. All Right, bold predictions, the changes coming to the banking industry. Get on board Er, get left behind. I like it and I like that we always come back to the true north of you know, the growth and the products are really driven by what's right by the customer. I. How little bit of time and take advantage of the things that they wanted to do in life? Gary, thanks a lot for joining me. I appreciate this is a great conversation. Yeah, thanks. Having upstart partners with banks and credit unions to help grow their consumer loan portfolios and deliver a modern, all digital lending experience. As the average consumer becomes more digitally savvy, it only makes sense that their bank does to upstarts. Ai Landing Platform uses sophisticated machine learning models to more accurately identify risk and approve more applicants than traditional credit models, with fraud rates near zero. Upstarts all digital experience, reduces manual processing for banks and offers a simple and convenient experience for consumers. Whether you're looking to grow and enhance your existing personal and auto lending programs or you're just getting started, upstart can help. Upstart offers an into in solution that can help you find more credit worthy borrowers within your risk profile, with all digital underwriting, onboarding, loan closing and servicing. It's all possible with upstart in your corner. Learn more about finding new borrowers, enhancing your credit decisioning process and growing your business by visiting UPSTARTCOM Ford Banks. That's UPSTARTCOM for banks. You've been listening to leaders and lending from upstart. Make sure you never miss an episode. Subscribe to leaders and lending in your favorite podcast player, using apple podcast. Leave us a quick rating by tapping the number of stars you think the show deserves. Thanks for listening. Until next time,.

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