Rebuilding Lending Club ‘Brick By Brick’

canstockphoto2561438Lending Club has had a busy seven weeks, following the scandalous exit of its CEO.

After the announcement of its new CEO Scott Sanborn – and the layoff of 179 employees – this morning, Lending Club held an annual Shareholders Meeting, where executives detailed the roadmap to rebuilding volume to its previous levels.

It’s not looking good for 2016.

The company expects its second quarter origination volume to be down by a third, according to Sanborn.

Unfortunately, the momentum that we demonstrated in 2015 was impacted by the resignation of our CEO. After May 9, many investors have paused their activity. We are working hard to regain their confidence. During the past seven weeks, we have talked to 100s of investors, to listen and answer their questions, and virtually all told us they want to continue investing.

In addition, the company began offering investor incentives that will total in $9 million in 2Q. Those incentives are already “helping reignite investments,” said CFO Carrie Dolan. “Due to the lower volume, we have also eliminated 179 positions, mainly from our volume-related teams. Reduction is a tough decision, we are truly sorry to see them go,” she added. “We expect our originations in 3Q to continue to be influenced, and we expect to resume our previous revenue in 1Q17.”

From the internal review, the company now says that former CEO Renaud Laplanche was allegedly involved in questionable practices, including loans to family members to inflate volume figures, since 2009.

In the past seven weeks, the marketplace lender has initiated a review of its controls, compliance and governance as well as began retraining employees on a code of conduct and ethics, and reinforcing the importance of a high compliance culture. All that, according to Sanborn, is to insure swift investor retention.

We are still truly inspired by our vision, and have high confidence in the marketplace lending model. We are rebuilding confidence brick-by-brick. We are seeing investors return to our platform, albeit at lower volumes. Different investors are coming back at different rates. Banks are taking longer in general.

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