Just as Goldman Sachs is putting the breaks on what had been a rapidly expanding consumer lending business amid growing doubts about how its $4 billion portfolio might perform during a downturn, US Bank is gambling on the riskiest form of consumer credit, offering old-fashioned pay-day loans with a digital twist.
Last month, US Bank introduced "Simple Loan", an online-lending platform that combines the ease of Quicken Loans' app-based platform with usurious interest rates.
Lynn Heitman, executive vice president of US Bank Consumer Banking Sales and Support, told MarketWatch that the loans provided a "trustworthy, transparent" option.
The process is relatively quick and simple for customers who have a checking account with US Bank. Simply log on to the US Bank mobile app and apply to borrow up to $1,000. The loan is deposited directly into the applicants' checking account, then must be repaid in three installments over three months. Users who opt to have the loan payments debited directly from their checking accounts will pay $12 in interest for every $100 borrowed. Those who don't will face a slightly higher rate of $15. Borrowers who choose automated payments will pay a 70% APR, while borrowers who opt for manual payments will pay an 88% APR.
In marketing materials released by the bank, Heitman said the program incorporated extensive feedback from US Bank customers. "It was the right thing to do for our customers," Heitman said.
All US Bank needs now is catchy jingle and they'll be good to go...