Since the 2008 global financial crisis, the Fintech industry has dramatically changed the banking and financial services industry. Not only have we seen the rise of peer-to-peer (P2P) and marketplace lending networks that directly connect investors with borrowers to open up new options and possibilities for both, but we’ve also seen the rise of neobanks that aim to reimagine the traditional banking experience.
Now, more than 10 years later, the coronavirus pandemic has shaken the world, forcing individuals to rethink how they bank—and forcing organizations to respond with innovation. That’s certainly the case for this week’s guest on the Fintech Growth Talk. Victoria Huang is the Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives at LendingClub, the nation’s leading personal loan company. Huang recently helped lead LendingClub’s acquisition of Radius Bancorp, propelling LendingClub’s evolution into a marketplace bank. Huang agrees that COVID-19 has accelerated consumers’ move to digital banking, forcing many to re-evaluate their financial relationships. It has simultaneously encouraged less reliance on physical banking, and more importantly, a stronger distaste for relying on the “vicious cycle of revolving credit and debt.”
In other words, consumers are craving options that are flexible, convenient, and less expensive than traditional options. In a recent survey of LendingClub members, an overwhelming majority said they had a high level of trust in the company and would be eager for a more in-depth relationship aside from borrowing and lending. Add all these together and it’s easy to see that 2020 was a perfect storm for LendingClub to acquire Radius Bancorp, enabling them to deliver services that better meet the needs of its customers.
None of this, however, has changed LendingClub’s vision to become America’s financial health club. In fact, LendingClub’s acquisition provided the perfect opportunity to not only be a top lending platform, but to “advance consumers’ financial health” by offering a portfolio of services that will help its members get out of debt and grow financially. Huang believes that merging LendingClub’s marketplace model with Radius’ award-winning deposit platform and banking expertise presents an opportunity to create a category defining digital banking experience for customers.
A key advantage, Huang says, is LendingClub’s data, culled from its 14-year history and $60 billion in loans to millions of borrowers. The sheer volume of data they’ve collected enables them to develop sharper insights that are driving their credit risk models in ways that traditional methods simply can’t compete with, enabling them to approve loans that would have likely been denied by a more traditional banker. In fact, this model’s strength has only proven itself during the pandemic, with many loans taken during the pandemic performing exceptionally well.
Ultimately, the future of LendingClub lies in being able to continue to develop products and services that leverage the digital marketplace banking model and can deliver greater benefits and value to the customer. And that, says Huang, will lead to the ability to deliver a true member experience.
Victoria Huang is Sr. Director of Strategic Initiatives at LendingClub where she led deal diligence and integration efforts for the recently completed acquisition of Radius Bank. With this transformational merger, LendingClub officially becomes a digital marketplace bank. Prior to LendingClub, Vicky held various advisory roles at early stage startups in Silicon Valley. She started her career in investment banking, covering Asia capital markets with Citigroup and Credit Suisse. As a seasoned fintech operator, she also built and scaled the China operations for Copal Partners, a financial research and analytics provider, that was acquired by Moody’s. Vicky holds an MBA from Chicago Booth and dual degrees in Business and Economics from UC Berkeley.
Listen to our full interview with Victoria Huang here:
Safe Harbor Statement
Some of the statements above and contained in the interview, including statements regarding LendingClub’s strategy, products and services, and the benefits of the Radius acquisition, are “forward-looking statements.” The words “believe,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “will,” “would” and similar expressions may identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated by these forward-looking statements include those factors set forth in the section titled “Risk Factors” in LendingClub’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. LendingClub may not actually achieve the plans, intentions or expectations disclosed in forward-looking statements, and you should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. LendingClub does not assume any obligation to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.