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As the company expands its bank, LendingClub’s CEO plots a course around cryptocurrency

  • ‘Speculative asset,’ according to Sanborn, isn’t for everyone.
  • Following the acquisition of Radius, an online lender is expanding its product offerings.

While it completes a bank acquisition and tries to launch more traditional financial products, LendingClub Corp. is resisting demand from stakeholders to enter the bitcoin market.

“Look, the customer demand is there,” Chief Executive Officer Scott Sanborn said in an interview Tuesday. “But my view — our perspective — is that if you’ve got $15,000 in credit-card debt, the thing you should do with your next $500 is not buy a speculative asset.” “We acknowledge that we may be overlooking some consumer demand.”

After its $185 million acquisition of Radius Bancorp Inc last year, Sanborn, who took over in 2016, is charting a new course for the peer-to-peer lender. LendingClub is expanding its product offerings, which now include high-yield savings accounts and certificates of deposit. According to Sanborn, this doesn’t leave much opportunity for a crypto endeavor.

He stated, “I don’t want to be distracted.” “We’ll be focused on the mobile banking experience for the back half of the year and into next year.”

The San Francisco-based financial technology company has kept a segment of its marketplace that connects borrowers with institutional investors, but it has removed the section that allows regular investors to lend money. Sanborn said in an interview that LendingClub plans to keep more loans on its balance sheet, earning three times as much as the debt it chooses to offer through the marketplace.

Affirm Holdings Inc. and PayPal Holdings Inc.’s Venmo, for example, are either working on or have already launched crypto options. As it works through the Radius acquisition, LendingClub has chosen to focus on its expansion, including the introduction of more savings products and the move of its servicing center to Utah.

The firm’s appetite for M&A is still being digested, according to Sanborn. “Right now, we’re putting our capital to good use by putting it on the balance sheet.” I know what that return is it’s ridiculously high — and how to get it. However, once we’ve fully matured into that, we’ll undoubtedly be earning a lot of capital.”

Disclaimer: These are the writer’s opinions and should not be considered investment advice. Readers should do their own research.

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