American Bankers Association gives thumbs up to first ever online lending platform

By Daniel Lanyon on Monday 13 February 2017

Alternative Lending

The ABA is endorsing Akoub, an online platform helping community and regional banks with the process of providing small business loans and take on the likes of Lending Club and Prosper.

The American Bankers Association is for the first time endorsing a digital lending platform Akouba, which provides community and regional banks with an origination and underwriting platform for small business loans.

The American Bankers Association, the trade body of the $16trn banking industry composed of small, regional and large banks that together employ more than 2 million people, with deposits totalling $12trn and a combined loan book of $9trn.

Akouba describes itself as “a cloud-based, white-labelled technology aiming to help banks’ customers and prospects to access diverse financing options and business lending more quickly, accurately and profitably.”

Its technology integrates banks' own unique credit policies into a simplified online process. The bank still originates its own loans and owns the entire brand and customer relationship.

Online lenders such as Prosper and Lending Club have blazed a trail in recent years to make the process for businesses to find funding easier and quicker. The US small business loan application process is too time-sensitive and costly for banks at present, prompting a need to simplify and accelerate the process, said Bryan Luke, chairman of ABA’s Endorsed Solutions Banker Advisory Council.

“Akouba was chosen because they have established an effective and reliable platform for banks to execute the business lending process quickly, efficiently and profitably while also delivering a great customer and banker experience,” he said.

In this rapidly changing lending environment where marketplace lenders are disrupting the business lending space, our platform will help banks bring their customers the technology they have been lacking,” said Chris Rentner, CEO, Akouba.

“The ABA’s endorsement will give lending institutions the assurance that Akouba’s solutions meet the highest standards,” he said.

Prior to awarding the endorsement, the ABA says it conducted an extensive due diligence process, including examining Akouba’s ability to assess and manage risk as well as comply with the FDIC’s proposed guidance for third-party lending. 

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