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construction lending Archives - BankLabs

Differentiate Yourself Within Competitive Construction Lending

By | Article

By Matt Johnner

As Featured in Progress In Lending.

Construction lending is a growing sector of the mortgage industry and one that has traditionally been dominated by big banks. Recently however, these big banks are taking a more conservative approach on construction loans, creating opportunities for smaller, community-focused banks to seize the steady flow of capital.

While big banks are choosing to limit exposure by focusing more on existing customers, other financial institutions can jump in to fill the void. Of course, this means that the competition between small and mid-level banks focused on construction lending is reaching an all-time high.

So, how can a financial institution differentiate itself in such a competitive market? The answer is by offering solutions that automate the entire construction loan process, making life easier for all parties involved.

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American Banker: As construction lending rebounds, tech investment follows

By | Article

American-Banker-bank-labs-construction-lendingAs featured in American Banker.

As construction lending starts to make a comeback, many community banks relying on lending to developers and builders are looking to use cutting-edge digital interfaces to help them attract more clients.

“It’s important for us to create convenience not only for our clients but for their clients as well [such as subcontractors] and give them quicker and more convenient access to funds,” said David Veurink, chief credit officer and head of commercial banking at Chicago-based Countryside Bank.

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BankLabs Signs 50th Bank to Utilize Construct

By | Press Release

BankLabs, a national provider of innovative mobile technology products for community banks, today announced the 50th bank to go-live with Construct, the cloud-based construction loan management product for lenders and their borrowers, builders and inspectors.

“In today’s technology-driven world, we wanted to provide an easy-to-use, web-based service to take the place of cumbersome spreadsheets and paper files. The importance of mobility continues to grow to differentiate the financial institution.”

Construct is a banker-centric, web-based service that automates the post-close administration of construction loans for lenders. Accessible from any phone, tablet or computer, it eliminates the need for paper files and spreadsheets, increases bank productivity, mitigates the risk of overfunding projects and improves the experience for both the builder and borrower.

Using Construct, a builder is able to view available funds via computer or mobile device and submit a draw request. Notifications are then sent via text or email to the inspector, borrower and bank personnel. The inspector takes pictures, enters notes and updates the percent complete via phone or tablet. Without the need for spreadsheets, the correct draw amount is automatically calculated and can be instantly viewed by the banker, borrower and builder along with inspection details, documents and photos. Reports are then automatically generated based on real-time data.

Construct has proven to reduce loan administration time by 50 percent, lower inspection costs, identify and mitigate potential risks and enhance the borrower/builder relationship through mobile access. Financial institutions using Construct have already seen an eight to 12 percent draw interest improvement, as well as a decrease in cycle time from days or weeks to minutes.

“Construct completely automates the traditionally manual loan administration, inspection and draw process, making life easier for the bank, builder and borrower using real-time workflow and proactive next step tracking,” said Matt Johnner, president and co-founder of BankLabs. “In today’s technology-driven world, we wanted to provide an easy-to-use, web-based service to take the place of cumbersome spreadsheets and paper files. The importance of mobility continues to grow to differentiate the financial institution.”

About BankLabs

BankLabs is a national provider of innovative mobile technology products that help community banks improve efficiency, increase time for relationships with customers and create marketplace options that expand business opportunities. BankLabs believes that community banking is a way of doing business, not a size. For more information, visit www.banklabs.com.

 

Media Contact

For BankLabs
Catherine Mootz, 678-781-7227
cmootz@williammills.com

Sarbanes-Oxley, Construction Lending, and the “Stone Age” of Spreadsheets

By | Blog

Sarbanes-Oxley mandates improving risk management and making operations more effective and efficient

Does your construction lending department manage its construction loan activities using spreadsheets? Has your bank unintentionally over-funded any construction loans? Has it been a while since you assessed the effectiveness and efficiency of your construction loan administration?

As a board member, audit committee member, or member of the internal audit group, if you answered “yes” to any of these questions, are you feeling uneasy? Well, you should be.

By now, everyone in banking considers Sarbanes-Oxley to be old news. After all, it’s been around since 2002, and virtually every bank has beefed up its internal audit capabilities to bring the bank into SOX compliance. What is not so obvious is that Sarbanes-Oxley standards also require that the bank’s internal audit activity evaluate and contribute to the improvement of the organization’s risk management, control, and governance processes. And, internal audit activities must be designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the “effectiveness and efficiency of operations”.

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American Banker: Can Technology Make Construction Loans Less Risky?

By | Article

As featured in American Banker.

Lending to developers and builders is community bankers’ bailiwick … and sometimes their bane.

In good times construction lending keeps community banks thriving, but the financial crisis of 2008 brought down hundreds of small banks because they were heavily exposed to commercial real estate.

Perhaps there is a tech solution to avoid or soften the bad times, some fintech vendors say. Granted, no software can prevent real estate downturns, but construction lenders’ reliance on spreadsheets, file folders and sticky notes is said to add hazards. Their platforms, the vendors say, can streamline the process and make it safer.

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