Lending Club is not focusing on any particular niche in the mortgage market, but looking more broadly to improve the customer experience for consumers, the expansion-hungry marketplace lender's CEO said.
Unlike in personal loans, where Lending Club saw an opportunity to lower the cost of consumer credit card debt, in mortgages, the play is not in providing lower-priced credit, but rather in removing friction, Renaud Laplanche said.
"I don't think there's been much innovation in the mortgage experience over the last 20 years," Laplanche said in an interview last week. "Everyone's complaining about the time it takes, and the amount of paperwork it takes, to get a mortgage or refinance a house. So I think that's where technology can make the process a lot faster and a lot easier."
The company, which went public in December, operates an online platform that performs automated underwriting and then makes approved loans — mainly personal loans to consumers and small business loans — available to investors.
Laplanche has spoken previously about his intention to start originating mortgages. But his remarks provided new context about the company's plans.
Lending Club, which has more than doubled its loan volume in each of the last four years, is scheduled to release its second-quarter results late Tuesday.