In response to the desire for better innovation and solutions to support community bankers’ small business and commercial lending initiatives, Summit Technology Group (STG) and its banking clients are launching Lenders Cooperative; a standalone, client-owned platform.
Lenders Cooperative initially came into being in 2019 as a subsidiary of STG, a boutique consulting, services and software practice for community banks, and provides loan solutions and shared services for banks, credit unions and fintechs offering small business (SMB), small business administration (SBA) and commercial loans to local businesses and communities.
Lenders Cooperative solutions include a cloud-based loan origination system capable of integrating with customers’ current systems. In this way, it offers the same end-to-end workflows that were created to support the SBA’s paycheck protection programme (PPP) during the pandemic.
“Today’s community financial institutions are often under tremendous pressure to stay relevant and competitive while still serving the needs of their local businesses,” comments Ben Wallace, CEO of STG.
“STG’s core mission is to help institutions focus on their true strengths. This same commitment has been baked into the DNA of Lenders Cooperative since its inception.”
In addition to its software-as-a-service (SaaS) technology solutions, Lenders Cooperative also offers staff augmentation including credit underwriting, SBA loan service provider (LSP) support, bank operations and white label call centre support.
With evidence suggesting that many of today’s community financial institutions struggle to recruit and retain talent, these services may allow the recruitment levels of engaging parties to react more quickly to evolving market conditions while providing them with the flexibility to select the most appropriate services to their needs.
‘Built by lenders for lenders’ remains the unique selling point of Lenders Cooperative. In addition, Lenders Cooperative also allows interested financial services clients to obtain equity ownership offering them a unique value proposition as both customers of the platform and owners. The design of this governance structure aims to accelerate product development, generating a ‘flywheel of customer success’.
Support to stay competitive
Cape Cod 5, a community bank with over $5billion in assets, is a previous investor in STG and an initial customer of Lenders Cooperative, and according to its CEO, Matt Burke, “we have seen firsthand the many benefits of its innovative solutions and services, as well as a strong return on our capital.” Cape Cod 5 is also partnering with STG to see through the development and launch of the new platform.
“We are excited to once again partner with STG and others involved in Lenders Cooperative, and we look forward to leveraging this technology and the expertise of the team to modernise our own lending processes to better meet our customer’s needs and continue Cape Cod 5’s innovation journey in support of local businesses and our communities,” adds Burke.
Recognising how customer expectations are constantly shifting for today’s community financial institutions, especially for business and commercial loan clients, Loughlin Cleary, president and national sales director of Lenders Cooperative, explains that “it’s critical they have the most robust, innovative products and solutions to support them and stay competitive.”
As Cleary puts it, “Lenders Cooperative’s unique model not only allows our customers to own the technology they use but also provides the chance to a be a part of a growing community of bankers that are actively exchanging shared knowledge.” This is in addition to offering users a “front-row seat” to today’s innovation as well as what’s to come.