U.S. Bank Referral Partnership
A blueprint for broader collaboration between CDFIs and retail banks that will ultimately help thousands of small business owners access the capital they need.
Connecting large institutions with the CDFI industry
Boosting customer satisfaction and bringing banks more resources
Creating a more robust business lending ecosystem
U.S. Bank is one of the first financial institutions to initiate a nationwide referral partnership with CDFIs. Although banks have historically been important sources of capital for CDFIs, U.S. Bank’s partnership with CRF and its technology platform – Connect2Capital – is a blueprint for broader engagement and impact that will ultimately help thousands of small business owners access the capital they need to create jobs and invest in their communities.
When banks and other traditional lenders are unable to provide a small business loan, Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) can often help qualified small business owners with financing. While referral partnerships between individual CDFIs and banks are common, streamlining the experience for small businesses can vastly increase the number of small businesses that can access financing. Making it easier for financial institutions and their small business customers to connect to a national network of responsible community lenders is a critical priority.
CRF’s Connect2Capital marketplace is a new way to support small businesses that do not qualify for traditional credit products by matching them with other flexible sources of financing from mission-driven Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). Connect2Capital helps link small business borrowers with responsible lending options from community-based lenders across the country. The partnership also allows U.S. Bank to retain business banking relationships with small businesses that don’t qualify for traditional lending products but are good candidates for CDFI lending and advisory services.
Ultimately, CDFIs strive to help build the credit and capacity of small businesses so they can become eligible for traditional lending products from the bank in the future. By connecting these small businesses with CDFI lenders, U.S. Bank can monitor progress and results, reaching out to businesses when the time is right for further financing needs. U.S. Bank’s partnership with CRF and Connect2Capital is a blueprint for broader engagement and impact that will ultimately help thousands of small business owners access the capital they need to create jobs and invest in their communities.