Citibank and the online marketplace lender Lending Club, with the help of Varadero Capital, will provide $150 million in loans geared toward fulfilling Citi's community reinvestment obligations.
Citi will make its loans through Lending Club's marketplace platform, utilizing the online lending company's proprietary borrower scoring. Varadero, a New York hedge fund, will then buy the loans off Lending Club's website through a credit facility from Citi.
"Many banks across the country are looking for opportunities to enhance their community lending efforts for low- and moderate-income families," Lending Club Chief Executive Renaud Laplanche said in a press release Tuesday. "We're excited to expand the use of the Lending Club platform to make this process easier for Citi and other banks, and help lower the cost of credit for borrowers."
The partnership appears to be advantageous all around. Citi is expected to strengthen its Community Reinvestment Act score by assisting in the facilitation of loans to low- and moderate-income families, Lending Club would add more customers through a program that already has a guaranteed buyer, and Varadero plans to purchase loans that produce higher-than-average yields based on data-centric underwriting and low-cost servicing.