Brian Zwerner of Kensington Blake Capital Commentary on Growth of Non-Bank Lending Platforms

September 5, 2015

Kensington Blake Capital’s Managing Principal Brian Zwerner serves as Chief Executive Officer of Provider Web Capital, a leading finance provider for small businesses in the healthcare sector. The last few years has seen a dramatic shift in small business lending to non-bank platforms, and Provider Web Capital has seen enormous growth in origination volumes. This success has played out across 20 or more small business specialty lenders, and interest in the sector is skyrocketing as a result.

Following the credit crisis, banks across the United States tightened credit standards. These new standards have persisted 7 years later, and they are unlikely to loosen any time soon. In the addition, the higher cost of regulation for banks has led banks to pull back from completing small loans to businesses. In a recent meeting with a banker at a top four institution, he reported that loans under $1MM are difficult to support, and loans under $250K are nearly impossible. Relationship managers at his bank are required to meet face to face with every customer before making a loan, and they also have to meet each client in their loan portfolio in person every quarter. A recent Wall Street Journal article on Live Oak Bank reported that the bank is attempting to move faster and be more like a non-bank lender. However the bank has to use two private jets to ferry its executives around the country to meet with clients in person to match the regulatory standards. Banks do not have the flexibility to serve the needs of the small business community and will not for many years to come.

These challenges in the banking sector have led to the explosive growth in non-bank lenders. Market leaders such as OnDeck Capital, CAN Capital, and Kabbage are all seeing big annual origination growth. All three institutions have completed capital raises or opened new leverage facilities in the past year. This has allowed them to increase lending capacity and support demand for short-term working capital for small business across the country in all sectors. Specialty groups like Provider Web Capital are seeing higher growth rates.

Investor interest in the non-bank finance sector is at all-time high as well. This can be seen in the heavy interest in two large conference for the sector in the fall. The American Banker is holding a conference on Marketplace Lending and Investing on November 4/5th in New York City. Speakers from the non-bank lending industry include: Daniel Demeo – CEO CAN Capital, Noah Breslow – CEO OnDeck Capital, and Sam Hodges – CEO Funding Circle. Provider Web Capital will be present at this American Banker conference. The IMN group is also holding a conference in New York on October 29th focused on Investor in Marketplace Lending. Key sponsors include Funding Circle. Common Bond, and Lending Home.

IMN conference link:

American Banker conference link:


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