Leaders in Lending
Leaders in Lending

Episode 72 · 3 months ago

Expanding Opportunity and Financial Freedom with MDIs and CDFIs

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In recent years there has been more reporting and recognition of the racial wealth gap- the large, and growing, gap in the percentage of family wealth in black households, as compared to white households.

Banks like Carver State have been operating within the mission to serve the African American community since 1927 and are now leveraging partners to maximize their reach and accessibility.

Our guest today, Robert James, Chief Executive Officer at Carver State Bank, gives our listeners a look at the unique service they provide and how they have been addressing the racial wealth gap in Georgia for several decades.

Join us as we discuss:

  • Carver State’s role as both a minority depository institution (MDI) and community development financial institution (CDFI)
  • Unlocking credit access and opportunity
  • Leveraging fintech partnerships to find the balance between high tech and high touch
  • How the National Bankers Association (NBA) ensures the needs of MDIs across the country are met     

Want to learn more about how Upstart partners with banks? Check out this case study mentioned in the episode.

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 and more. Let's get into the show. Welcome to leaders in lending. I'm your host, Jeff Keltner. This week's episode features my conversation with Robert James from carver state bank. Carver State Bank is a unique institution, both a minority depository institution, M D I, and a C DF I, a community development financial institution. That's a kind of small overlapping subset, and so we talk about Um what it means to serve those communities, what the different challenges maybe that are are are different than the traditional bank serving a more general community population might experience. Um We really dive into into those topics and to how he thinks about digitization, fintech partnerships, doing a lot of work in fintech partnerships, but also combining what what Robert called the high tech with the high touch, which I thought was was a great phrase and a great strategy to be honest, Um, and then we also dove into the four building blocks of financial freedom, as he calls them, and what those are and how they really focused on delivering on those building blocks and in the focus, I think, really importantly, on how those building blocks and financial freedom equates to the ability to participate in the fullness of what it means to be an American citizen and unlocking opportunities for those communities. I thought that was a really interesting conversation. I appreciated Robert joining us to share his thoughts. So please enjoy this conversation with Robert. Robert, thanks so much for joining the podcast today. I appreciate you making the time. Jeff, thanks for inviting me. Look forward to the conversation. It should be it should be a phone one. I'm looking forward to this. Um, I've starting all my podcasts with the same question now, so I'm gonna ask you, Um. I think the most common description I've had of bankers careers is that their accidental bankers and not many of us grew up dreaming of being the banker. Uh, tell me about, you know, your path to where you're at and kind of how you got to this position and being in the banking industry. So I grew up in the family of banker. My father has been the CEO of our bank for fifty years. So basically my entire life um and I never wanted to work in the bank. So I never had a summer job in the bank, I never worked in a teller line, I was never a courier, I never did anything in the bank. I got away from from home as quickly as I could. I thought I wanted to be a lawyer. I became a lawyer Um and I found my way to banking because practice of law, but was very frustrating to me because it was very limited in terms of what you could do on a...

...project. I was a corporate lawyer and it was frustrating because for many, many, many reasons, but one of the reasons that was frustrating to me was that the lawyer never gets called until the deal is already basically decided. I mean, if you're if you're if you're a transactional lawyer, the business part of the deal is done before they call you. They call you to have you document the deal and then the deal gets done and people go on and actually execute on the thing they've made an agreement on and you don't have any involvement in that either. And so that frustrated me, unless it goes wrong. And I didn't like that part because I'm not, I'm not, I'm not conflict. I don't like conflict. So so I didn't like that part. On I ended up really gravitating towards things that had to do with inclusion and uh so I started a B Two b e Commerce company back in the days when that was just supposed to be a thing that was around supplier diversity and helping, you know, diversify supply chains for corporations and local governments. Um, that turned into a kind of a consulting consultancy around those issues. Then I did I did a little bit of real estate, commercial real estate development, again, more focused on the harder things, you know, getting a grocery store into a community that didn't have one. Um, you know, getting basic services to places that didn't have them. Um. And what I found that kind of was the common thread of all of these different entrepreneurial things that I did was that that, you know, for Uh African American business owners, diverse business owners in general, developers, whatever, capital access was always the key component and it took me doing a bunch of different things to realize that, hey, you know, my family has been involved in this little bank that actually provides capital access um in these spaces that I care about, and so that's really what kind of pulled me into into banking, not just the familial stuff, but but really coming to it on my own. Yeah, I love that because it's I also love your kind of talking about capital access, because I think it's so easy to think of lending and credit from the bank point of view and it's easy sometimes to forget the importance of that access to capital in terms of unlocking opportunity, be it for small business owner, be it for a student looking to go to college or someone looking to buy a car. Like those opportunities are really limited by the ability to access capital, and that mission oriented nature of like making capital available with people who need it is a I think it's a it's a great grounding principle for what we really do in the industry. Um, yeah, yeah, I mean I think one one one quick point on that. You know, and and I'm I didn't study finance or anything as a political science major.

I went to law school. But Um, there is a direct connection between. You know, access to capital really unlocks a lot of what it means to be an American and if you don't have it you cannot fully participate. Um, and I don't think we really make that connection as much as we should. Um, you know, and I've given a couple of speeches recently and one of them, several of them, I've noted that, you know, in Dr King's last speech, the night before he was assassinated, he was speaking to a group of Um sanitation workers were they were on strike in Memphis and in that last speech he literally exhorts the crowd to take their money to the black owned bank in Memphis and he makes a connection in that speech between civil rights, voting rights and economic rights and and how and those those three things kind of make up those three legs of the stool make up full participation in in in in American nous, and the access to capital piece is is one that I don't think we necessarily connect to the other two. But if you don't have it you cannot fully participate. It's the happiness part, you know, if we're pursuing life liberty, and if it's life liberty in the pursuit of happiness. The happiness part, I think, has to do with being able to access capital. The pursuit of happiness often requires borrowing money to to pursue things, certain things and people. I've listened to that speech many times. I mean, having grown up in Memphis, I you know it was one of the ones I like to listen to. Dr King's such a great speaker and Um, I think people forget how much is focus shifted from truly civil rights to the economic rights and the need, the need to have real um participation and ability to participate fully in order to realize the fullness of American citizenship and not just, you know, the lack of being prevented from certain things, but the ability actually access things that maybe weren't unavailable but we're practically unavailable because of that black access accoup. I said, it was a big shift in his focus in many ways towards the latter half of his career. That the people often forget. Well, so your institution is really interesting. It carries two designations that are rare, rare among themselves and certainly in conjunction, even more rare, which is to be, you know, a black owner. You know, more generally, a minority owned depository institution, or an Mbi, as well as being a CD F I. So can you, for the audience who may be less familiar, explain what those designations are and then I'd love to dive into how that kind of changes your experience or challenges or, you know, what you as an institution are focused on. Sure. So, Carver State Bank is Um we're celebrating our ninety five year this year. We found in by a black man INCIVENTA, named Louis B tumor. Mr Tumor was great entrepreneur in his own right.

He was one of the first black people in the state of Georgia to be a licensed real estate broker. He did a lot of real estate development himself. He started this bank to provide access to capital. And so our bank has been an M D I, or minority depository institution, for its entire existence and that is a designation that is conferred by Law on UH firea section three o eight actually defines what a minority depository institution is uh and it's what it sounds like. It's one. It's a bank that's owner controlled by members of a designated minority group. Then we also are a certified C D F B I, or community development financial institution, and that is, you know, yet another uh federal designation that is conferred by the United States Treasury Department, and that designation requires you to apply for it. You have to apply and you have to be a financial institution, obviously, but then you also have to be uh, have a stated mission of serving and identified target market. Um, that is uh lot of moderate income essentially, or you know, disadvantage in some way. You have to be accountable to that community and you have to provide at least six of your lending on an annual basis uh in that targeted market. And so, Um, we have both designations. The C D F I designation was something that came about during the Clinton administration. Um, Bill Clinton I saw what was happening with a bank called shore bank in Chicago in terms of providing access to capital on the south side of Chicago, and he wanted to kind of replicate that that model across the country, and so they created the C D F I fund, which is an instrument that's inside of the treasure department and that's the organization at Treasury that kind of certifies you as a C D F I and provides resources to help you maintain your commitments to that targeted market. So how does that change the way you approach the business of banking being you know, either? I mean I feel like those are different designations with different requirements, but from a mission point of you probably substantially aligned and in the communities you're trying to serve and the ways you're trying to do that. But how do you think that shifts the way you think about, you know, your role and responsibilities and what your objectives are as an institution versus, you know, a more traditional bank that doesn't carry those designations? Yeah, so for Carver, you know, like I said, we were founded in the CDFI program was the we we looked at the definition for it and we said, well, we've been doing that since that's just who we are. That's just who we are, just who we are, just what we do. Um, if you look at our C D F I target market, Um, it involves a couple of different markets and you know, I don't want to get too walky or in the weeds, on on on you, but but basically ninety plus percent of our lending on an annual base sis is going to be to African American people in...

...the state of Georgia. And that's not because anybody else couldn't make application and and get alone. It's because that's who comes to us, that's who we serve, that's that's you know. So. So we are really focused on making sure that folks in that community get capital and access to it, and that just so happens to fit what this program designation is Um and you know, so we don't. We don't make we haven't had to change much about what we do fundamentally in order to be a C D F. I it's more a question of, you know, tracking and reporting what we do and using those programs to accentuate what we do more than anything, I think, I think other banks that are strictly I mean we're profit motivated. We have shareholders or profit motivate it, but we also were committed to this kind of vision emission before we became yeah, well, are there unique challenges? I mean I imagine like that those communities, those the kinds of businesses and small businesses you're trying to provide access to, happen to you know that the consumers have a different set of challenges, needs expectations, maybe ways that they interact. What are the kind of unique elements to you and serving those communities that maybe you know, our stories or experiences or challenges that you say my colleagues who are, you know, in the bank serving a different kind of demographic that's, you know, broader, don't face or experience differently? Um, there are many. I think the biggest one is, you know, we come back to this same kind of access to capital issue and historical access to capital, and I think, you know, particularly over the last couple of years, many of your listeners probably will have um gotten more familiar with the racial wealth gap and these issues that continue to play American society and and you know, we Um, you know, we were talking about Dr King's assassination. When Dr King was assassinated, the racial wealth gap was actually smaller than it is now. We've actually lost ground in terms of and when we talk about a racial wealth gap, what we're talking about is the family wealth in black households is less than ten percent of that of white households and that number has actually gotten, that gap has has grown since Dr King was killed, and so that issue is kind of fundamentally at the at the source of what makes it different and more difficult for us to bank many of our customers. Um, so when we're doing small business lending or we're doing uh, you know, commercial real estate loan or or or consumer loan, there's less Colla...

...pateral. Typically the collateral might be undervalued. When you can get it, you have to be a lot more creative in terms of bringing different kinds of credit enhancement to the table to to make deals work. Um, we are, uh, you know, constantly dealing with sort of a not just a wealth gap but also a gap of sophistication. I call it an acumen gap. It was really apparent when we were doing P P P loans during the pandemic. The P P P loan process really shone a light to me on how hard it was for minority owned businesses to access money, because that was a pretty simple loan product, you know, relatively speaking. But if you didn't have your tax returns at the ready, and we're not able to point to a payroll that you could download from, you know, quicken or whatever, quick books or whatever you're using, if you didn't have that stuff immediately available, it was actually very hard to access and most small businesses in the black community are sole proprietors who really don't necessarily keep strict books and records the way that they might if they were bigger and they had employees. I mean it was very challenging and so we spent a lot of time handholding and helping people to identify Um. You know, at one stage in the in the in the P P P process, we actually engaged the consultant specifically to work with customers to help them, because we couldn't do it and they couldn't afford it, but we knew that they needed the capital. So we we hired somebody to help customers access you know, do the paperwork and so and to apply for forgiveness, Um and so. You know, a person might be a great painter or a barber or a landscaper, but he's not necessarily sitting around doing the books. He's doing the work and so and so that's you know, those those documentation issues, of support issues. What kind of equity capital are they bring into the table? All of those things can become issues in every area of lending in the minority and minority communities in particularly African America. Hey, Sarah Bouch here, the up of consumer lending at first Federal Bank of Kansas City a few years back. Our executive team knew we needed to grow our unsecured personal loan portfolio, so we turned to upstart. Three years later, I am proud to share that we've scaled our loan volume target from five thousand a month to twelve million a month and acquired over a thousand new customers. If you want to hear more about our partnership, check out the full case study on upstart dot com forward slash lenders. Once again, that's upstart dot com forward slash lenders. All right, let's get back to the show. I wouldn't ask about it differently because you mentioned that you guys are. You know to me that you guys are shipping to a digital first...

...approach to all the products you're doing. I'd love to understand a little bit about Um, your your vision for that and what's driving that. And then also one of the concerns I hear about digital first pertains to l Ami Communities and maybe the lack of consistent access to devices or Internet, and so I wanted to get your perspective on that as someone who's serving those communities and also focus on kind of driving digital adoption. How do you think about, you know, what what the what the objective is, and and the challenges that some of those communities might have an accessing technology versus other communities in terms of the availability devices, Internet, conectivity the rest of it? That's it's kind of required to access those things. Sure, so. So I'll start from our mission. Um. So we have a stated mission, which is to provide the building blocks to financial freedom, and the way that we're going to deliver on our mission, pursue our mission is to provide what we call our four building blocks to financial freedom. Number one is to build money, number two is to build homes, number three is to build businesses and number four is to build communities. Now, a digital first approach in build money, for example, is represented by our partnership with upstart, we're in the process of implementing now, we have not implemented this or launched it yet, but we plan to before the end of the year. Have a partnership with upstart, leveraging its technology, which provides, you know, sort of instant approval for consumer loans in a way that's efficient. It's it's not something that we could do efficiently or profitably in a manual way and so and they also have an algorithmic approach that allows us to mitigate risk but still climb sort of down the credit score ladder and still find and offer you prime credit to folks who might not necessarily score and and show that there uh, that they should be able to access prime credit. In the build homes area, were launching a Fintech partnership with a company that's going to help us kind of re reinvigorate our mortgage business so that we can, you know, do the mortgage origination piece and kind of take a person from application all the way to closing in as digital a way as possible. And you're still going to have to show up the lawyer's office and sign your documents. But we're also adding to that a an experienced team of originators who are going to work with customers, who got twenty plus years of experience working with customers in the African American community here in the state. In the build businesses vertical we're going to be, uh, doing yet another Fintech partnership where we're adding kind of online small business application process and we're going to continue to look for partners in the businesses vertical so that we can, Um, you know, further automate the small business lending process...

...as much as we can in the build communities peace. That one. That one really refers to, you know, kind of community development projects, uh, projects that would use, you know, new markets tax credits or low income housing tax credits to stimulate investment in a community. And those are not really you can't really do that with an online process. I mean you can. There's no algorithm for, for for putting a grocery store in a food desert. You're going to end up having to manually work that one. So, you know, we might be able to create an online application process, but, but that's about it. But, but back to your point, your question about, you know, access. I think that people, I think there's a pretty high rate of adoption, particularly UNMOBILE, and so I don't think that the studies that I've seen haven't shown a great distance between, Um, mobile adoption in the African American community that we particularly serve or for the for the community at large. I do think you, Um, I think there's still a rural issue, a rural broadband issue. Um, I was on a A. I'm on an advisory board for the F D I C and, you know, community banks across the country participating and it was a virtual meeting and it was my first one and one of the bankers from a rural area said that it was really hard for her to participate in this zoom or whatever it was, Webex I can't remember what platform because she doesn't have broadband and her community and you know, so she doesn't have broadband at the bank. I mean it's not of her customers do either, and so that's a real thing. Um, I think that people kind of tend to forget about that. Is An issue, Um, but but I think, I think in terms of accessing financial services, people are going to be able to use mobile to access a lot of this. Um. You know, carver is a like I said years old, we have historically been at a very low tech, very high touch bank. You know, we pride ourselves on the community relationship, on knowing who our customers are, people coming in. It's it's a community hub. We've got to maintain that high touch, but we've got to be hot tech in order to attract new customers, in order to expand our reach and do it in an efficient way. But I think, I think if we find Um, you know, particularly on the mobile side. I think if we can find ways to to to to help folks access our services and products through mobile devices, I don't think we'll have that great of a of a of a of a digital divide kind of channel. It's really interesting you make that the highlight on mobile, because I do think it's a reminder to me that digital with so many people are focused on digital transformation and for the most universal access, digital really needs to be mobile...

...accessible, not necessarily an APP versus a Web, but like you need to be able to access to and fully utilize those services on a mobile device. Otherwise you probably have a in that way, for most communities, a bigger accessibility problem if your desktop only versus mobile. Compared to the broadband issue, which is really a more of a rural issue, you're probably right. Versus most people have pretty good broadband for you via mobile and in most urban, suburban exurban type areas. Yeah, yeah, I mean I think the issue there is going to be I think for like a consumer product, you know, consumer consumer lending or mobile APP, it's the manager accounts and all that. I think that stuff is is the lowest hanging fruit for Mobile Um. I think once you start getting the things where you've got to provide an upload documentation, that starts to become harder and harder in a mobile environment. If I'VE GOT TO UPLOAD TAX RETURNS FOR A mortgage application or for a small business loan, that becomes harder to do. If I've got to scan every page on my phone, you know, of a thirty page long whatever, and upload that and then you know. So then you start to to run into issues Um, and that's where the high touch part comes in for the bank. That's where we still have to have physical locations where people can bring their documents, where we can walk people through the process in person and make sure that folks continue to have access too, you know, credit um in a way that is affordable for them and and, you know, allowing them to participate fully in the economy. Yeah, I want to ask you just to dive a little bit more on this. I like to phrase high tech and high touch. It's a nice kind of literation and it sounds good, but how do you think about balancing that? I mean, many people think of tech as the elimination of touch, or at least a human touch and I think I really like the idea of having both. But how do you think about where one is appropriate versus the other, or how you balance where you're kind of directing consumers in terms of, you know, a technical interface versus a human experience in branch or on the phone or otherwise? Where's the balance or how do you think about the delineation between where where one is the right tool and versus the other? Yeah, I mean some of it will be some of it will be driven by, Um, generational differences amongst our customer base. You know, our older customers tend to want that physical, in person kind of analog experience, although we found during the pandemic when we had to close down the lobbies and we had to drive people more to you know, using the a t m s or the drive through or calling on the phone or using the Internet, that we did see adoption of our online banking increase. And so it's not that people can't do it, but, you know, it's about getting older folks used to doing it. I think for us to continue to attract new customers, it's imperative that we have, you know, the digital acts as and and you know, folks and probably our...

...generation and younger probably going to first look to your digital presence. What's your digital footprint? Is your APP easy to use? Is the website, you know, clean and easy to navigate? All of those things are going to be critical. And then when unique. But but when they need somebody, they're gonna want to be able to pick up phone talk to them and that's gonna be the that's gonna be one of the many challenges that we have as we grow our institution and look to provide more services to particularly younger demographic is that, you know, they're not gonna want to call you until they want to call you. Yeah, and when they want to call you, they don't want to go through a step phone treat to get ahold. They want to like they want to not talk to you when they don't, and when they do, they want to get you right away. They want to get you right away and and and and that's not going to be Um, you know, that's a that's not a unique challenge that we're going to have. I think everyone in the whole in the whole service economy has that challenge and figuring that out. But Um, you know, we're we're trying to automate where we can um and we're going to, you know, have people where, certainly you still have to have people and where you Um and where you know it's advisable, particularly with, like I said, our mission in the community we want to serve. I think we're just going to have to walk a little slower in terms of, you know, forcing everyone onto some digital platform. Well, you may be walking slower in terms of forcing whatever, but I mean you said Fintech partnership three times in a minute. That's more than most banks I talked to of any scale or focused on any demographics. I think you're you're you're pushing the envelope and I think find I think you're right. Finding the way to balance the ability to interact digitally when I want to with the ability to interact in an analog way when when I want to or need to is finding that balance is, I think, the magical point, because it is um we want both, right. I mean, I'm that way. I want to, I want to interact digitally when I just want to check a balance or make it. I want to transfer someone, I talk to somebody yet and then when I've got a question about alone product like which is the right product or a retirement account or whatever it might be like, but I don't want to like read a talk to a person instead. That's right. Hey, here's my question. How do how do I think about this? Um, and if you can balance US two, I think that's a great place. But you guys seem to be pushing fast, faster than most I talked on the digital front, so Kudos to you for that. Thank you. We're trying, I said. I said we're trying. Well, so far, so good, it seems like. Um, before we before we wrap up, I do want to ask you about your role with the National Bankers Association and have you, you know, just described that, that organization and and kind of what it is? I think it's an interesting and we started off with the M D I C D F I discussion. This is related, but the conversation was too interesting to just jump the N B A and what its role is in the industry. Sure. So. The National Bankers Association was also found in coincidentally, Um, and it was a reginally called the Negro Bankers Association, and it was representative of...

...black owned banks in the country. It was kind of an opportunity for those institutions to come together and and support one another, uh in a in a uh, and create an advocacy voice for those organizations. The UH, the association, became the National Bankers Association and it broadened its mission to represent all minority depository institutions across the country and I serve as chairman of the Board of that organization. And so we represent the interests of not just black owned banks but also Asian owned, Hispanic owned and native American owned banks across the country and we really Um you know, focus on policy uh at the Washington D C level, making sure that, you know, the unique needs and issues of the hundred and fifty or so minority depository institutions are met when and considered when regulatory changes happened, when changes in the law happened. But we also really focus on making sure that we create strong partnerships between M D E S and the main Wall Street type banks. We want to create strong access to two partnerships there. We are really focused on collaboration amongst M D's to, you know, accentuate the way that we can deliver services and be more impactful in the communities we serve. We really are. are also focused on telling the story of M DS, making sure that people understand the rich history of these organizations and institutions and the and the critical roles they play in their communities. Um. And then we're also helping mdis build capacity and do things like create fintech partnerships with with with technology providers. We're helping to provide capacity for organizations to track their impact and report on their impacts so that not just investors but also government agencies and the communities know what makes then these institutions very unique. And so we're doing a lot of really exciting things at the N B A uh and I'm fortunate to serve as chair of the board and and hopefully I'll be um finishing up my two year term at the end of the years. It's exciting organization and I you think you gave a great overview, so thank you for that. It's Um very interesting, very interesting work. But I do have three questions that I have, one that I start with and three that I end with for everybody. So, if you don't mind, I love to throw a match. And now the first is what what's the best piece of career advice you've ever gotten, it probably has to do with finally something that you really love and are passionate about to do, so that doesn't feel like work all the time. I think it's really important. I mean, and even when you find something that you're passionate about doing, there's still a lot of hard work that goes into it and you might get sick of it. But, but, but, of certain aspects of it. But you know, if you're passionate about what do and you feel like you...

...can really make a difference doing something that you care about, I think you'll be successful. So I'm sure plenty of people told me that and then one day I find one day I decided to listen. One day you found it. Somebody's hard to find the thing. But I think if you can find that. You kind of talked about things you're good at and things you're passionate about. If you can find the overlapping section of jobs that have think things are good at and things that you're you're passionate about, feel like you make a difference, that's a way to find happiness. I think you work. Um. What's the best advice you've got to your another accidental banker. I feel like everybody I talked to is the bankers, an accidental banker. But what's the best advice you've gotten about the consumer banking or consumer lending industries in general? Make sure you're in compliances. Kind of love the stand that you make sure you stay a compliance and make sure you're really um communicate with your regulator about what you're doing. Um. I think it's really important. And so we're not we're walking a little slower than maybe we could because we want to make sure that we're very clear on what we're doing and we want to make sure that our regulators are really clear about it. Um, and so I think I think you can. You can avoid problems if you, you know, make sure your regulator is comfortable before you launch a new product, particularly in the consumer space. Yeah, that's I will say. The institutions I've talked to that have the best relationship with their regulators tend to be the ones that are most proactive in communication and bring the regulator along. Is Pus say hey, look at this thing we did since the last time we talked didn't a great I wanted to know about that maybe in advance, not to say yes or no, just kind of be brought along the journey. Um, that's great advice. And my last question. What's one bold prediction for the future? One bold prediction for the future is that car, which is a seventy million dollar or so asset sized bank right now, will be over a billion dollars in assets by the time we turned one. All right, that's what I'm trying to do my math. It's like just a couple of years. It's five more years, five years, seventy million to a billion. That's a that's a boy. I look forward to celebrating that prediction being accurate with you. That's a bold prediction, but a lot of ambition. But it sounds like a great mission for you, so you've got to put it out there. Yeah, I gotta set set ambitious targets. That's an ambitious one and I wish you all the luck in achieving it because that sounds like a fabulous thing to achieve. So good luck and Robert, thanks for coming and sharing your perspectives and your insights. I really appreciate it. I think it's a very interesting conversation for the audience. So thank you. Thank you very much, Jeff. I really appreciate being with you today and and uh, you know, look forward to hearing this show and many others on your podcast. I'll start 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 too. UPSTARTS AI lending platform uses sophisticated machine learning models to more accurately identify risk and approve more applicants than traditional credit models. With fraud rates near zero, up starts 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 learning programs or you're just getting started, upstart can help. Upstart offers an end to end 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 quarter. Learn more about finding new borrowers, enhancing your credit decisioning process and growing your business by visiting upstart dot com. Slash four dash banks that's ups art dot Com Slash Board Dash Banks. You've been listening to leaders and lending from upstart. Make sure you never missed an episode. Subscribe to leaders and lending in your favorite podcast player using apple podcasts. Leave us a quick rating by capping the number of stars you think the show deserves. Thanks for listening. Until next time,.

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