Lending Club CEO Talks To CNBC

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Renaud La Planche CEO of Lending Club talked with CNBC Squawk Box. After almost 6 years, $1.5 Billion in loans made, nice to see Wall Street’s media pets starting to take notice. Ofcourse, their objective is prepping for the IPO which hopefully will happen within a year or so rather than letting investors know about a good high yield income alternative..
TRANSCRIPT OF INTERVIEW
Are you looking for an investment where you can earn returns averaging 10%? today’s squawk breakthrough is trying to transform the financial system by creating a lending alternative to banks. the draw for investors, high yields. lending club is an online peer-to-peer network for personal loans. the company assesses a borrower’s risk and allows investors to lend directly to individuals. lending club has made nearly $1.5 million in loans since the company was founded back in 2007. we have founder and ceo of lending club, joining us here. great to have you with us. good morning. you don’t actually personally take the book — the loans on to your books, correct? the risk is not with you at all. that’s correct. we really operate as a marketplace. so we have borrowers coming to us and the banks loan, and investors coming on the other side looking for attractive investment opportunities. and we do the matchmaking and perform important risk management functions. we underwrite, price, and service the loans on behalf of investors. and how do you make your money then? we take an origination fee from borrowers and servicing fee from investors. okay. what are your underwriting standards like? i would — what is your typical person who borrows money from you as opposed to a bank? are they riskier profiles? no. so we actually have stringent underwriting standards. we decline, unfortunately, nine out of ten borrowers coming to us in order to keep very high credit quality standards. and the borrowers who come are looking for a lower cost alternative. so credit cards, interest rates continue to be at a very high rate despite the low interest rate environments. and we can offer a lower cost alternative compared to a new street bank or credit card. if i want to lend money through the site, i know the identity of the individual on the other side? i’m in contact with that individual? no, you don’t. right. really as an investor, you would invest in a portfolio of loans. and if you come in with 10 or — $10,000 or $20,000, you would invest with 400 or 800 loans — what happens if somebody doesn’t pay? yeah, so if somebody doesn’t pay, your risk is sufficiently diversified so that if the default or charge-offs come in as expected you would preserve every high return. the average special — but i would — it would immediately show up on my return, not yours. you don’t guarantee it, it’s not insured. it’s my loss even though i don’t know who’s on the other side? absolutely. investors take on the credit risk. and they capture the yield on the loans. you’ve got pretty high-profile board members, larry somers, former u.s. treasury secretaryjohn mack, ex-ceo, and you plan to go forward in the future. it’s interesting. many private companies are pushed by investors or the board. in our case, it’s customers that are telling us they’re passionate about the service. and they would love to be associated with the growth of the company. and own a fraction of the company. so we pass it on to our — to be clear, is this just an extension of the microcredit that muhammad unos won the no bethesda — the pebel noace prize for? is that an extension of the same family? there are some of the ideas of macro credit being aied in the u.s. domestically. i think it goes beyond that. it’s really transforming the banking system and offering a low-cost alternative. as a marketplace, having a fraction of your costs at the banks are bearing. i have in my notes that you’re planning to get ready for an ipo next year. is that correct? we think we will be ready by next year. we’ll decide based on market conditions. okay. thanks for stopping by. appreciate it. the founder and ceo of lending club.

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