Citgroup has finally thrown in its batch of online loans – Quartz
If you can’t beat them, join them.
Lending Club, the upstart online lender that went public last year, announced today plans to partner with Citigroup, the third-largest US bank by assets, to provide $ 150 million in loans to low- and middle-income consumers.
The agreement marks the final illustration of how Wall Street embraces online lenders who originally went into business expressly to bypass banks and connect borrowers directly with individuals over the Internet. It follows similar twinnings with community banks.
Lending Club CEO Renaud Laplanche announced the move to Lendit USA, the annual pep gathering for the online lending industry.
“Commentators have asked us when will the lending sector in the online marketplace reach a level of maturity and attractiveness that we are seeing one of the country’s major major banks start to participate in,” Laplanche told the participants. “It just gives more credit to the idea that the loans in the market will transform the whole banking system.”
Citi and Lending Club will provide $ 150 million in subsidized loans to low- and middle-income creditors. For Citi, this means the match will help meet quotas under the Community Reinvestment Act, which forces banks to offer credit to people traditionally underserved by financial institutions.
“It has been very difficult for Citi to meet CRA requirements and because we lend online it will help them make credit available to low and moderate income clients,” said Laplanche.
John Heppolette, Co-Director and Managing Director of Citi Community Capital, said the partnership “will help provide a viable source of responsible credit.”
“It is important that we help increase access to financing alternatives for American families,” he said in a prepared statement.
For its part, the partnership will help Lending Club expand its reach and find more borrowers for the large number of lenders itching to invest in loans online.