Customers Bank (NYSE: CUBI), one of the nation’s top Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Lenders in 2020, began late yesterday to take applications for the new round of government-guaranteed loans designed to help small business maintain employment with wages and health benefits. The bank participated in more than 100,000 PPP loans totaling over $5 billion in the first rounds of PPP and believes it will participate in tens of thousands of additional PPP loans in 2021.
Customers Bank, known for being tech savvy and taking a digital-first approach to banking, has built a platform that integrates loan origination, funding, servicing and forgiveness – a dynamic end-to-end system available to individual commercial clients nationwide, and other lenders. Best of all, the platform incorporates the expertise and personal attention of career bankers as needed.
"We are delighted to announce that our website for PPP loan applications is open for business," said Chairman Jay Sidhu. "We are one of the first banks to start taking loans. Our entire bank is working together with our FinTech partners to bring PPP loans to tens of thousands of small and medium-sized businesses across America as quickly as possible." The application and links to more information can be found on the bank’s homepage at www.customersbank.com.
Many banks offered PPP loans to their clients following the adoption of the CARES Act in the early days of the COVID pandemic, but it soon became apparent that many truly small businesses, sole proprietors, "gig economy" and other hard working entrepreneurs do not have a traditional banking relationship with a government chartered, fully-regulated financial institution. Into this gap stepped the fintechs – companies with keen technology skills and a strong online marketing presence. These companies were well-positioned to assist small businesses and entrepreneurs with a user-friendly online loan application process. The fintechs were less able, however, to handle all of the intricacies of underwriting a government guaranteed loan – and did not have the access to the capital required for funding. Customers Bank Vice Chair Sam Sidhu engineered a hybrid bank-fintech partnership that pioneered a scalable model to serve small businesses nationwide.
PPP provided "an opportunity for us to build more of a national presence and a national brand among small businesses and to acquire longer-term customers," explained Sam Sidhu. ‘We’ve had a lot of sole proprietors; a lot of sub-five-employee companies. Using what we learned in the first PPP rounds we have rolled out an even stronger program."
Jay Sidhu describes it as a patriotic obligation, "We see it to be our duty to mobilize for the benefit of all small businesses in America who are struggling due to the pandemic. We invite all businesses across America to reach out to us if they are having any difficulties in getting to the SBA for their PPP loans."
Customers Bank is so confident in it’s abilities it launched a "white label" program to offer an end-to-end, turnkey PPP solution to banks, credit unions, community development financial institutions, other lenders, and membership organizations such as chambers of commerce. Already several major lenders including a "top five" bank, a $50 billion bank, and a nationally known fintech have become partners in this effort using the Customers Bank platform to deliver PPP loans to tens of thousands of borrowers.
"It’s simple and plug-and-play," explained Sam Sidhu. "There’s no technology integration. There will be a landing page branded with the bank’s logo through which clients will enter the application workflow we’ve built with our partners. The customer will not know it isn’t their bank until late in the process." Banks partnering with Customers Bank will retain their clients; Customers Bank will not solicit the borrowers for other financial services. More information on the "white label" program can be found here.
About Customers Bank
Customers Bank, a subsidiary of Customers Bancorp, Inc. a bank holding company, is a full-service super-community bank with assets of approximately $18.8 billion at September 30, 2020. A member of the Federal Reserve System with deposits insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Customers Bank is an equal opportunity lender that provides a range of banking and lending services to small and medium-sized businesses, professionals, individuals and families. Services and products are available wherever permitted by law through digital-first apps, online portals, and a network of offices and branches. Customers Bancorp, Inc.’s voting common shares are listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol CUBI. Additional information can be found on the company’s website, www.customersbank.com.
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Vice Chair & Chief Operating Officer