Underwriting for Racial Justice Program With 20 Lenders Leverages Stratyfy’s AI Technology to Promote Equitable Lending Practices and Foster Economic Inclusion
NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Stratyfy, a pioneering fintech that delivers accurate, dynamic and equitable credit underwriting decisions with interpretable machine learning solutions, today announced it is partnering with Beneficial State Foundation on its Underwriting for Racial Justice (URJ) program to minimize racial disparities in lending. URJ is a team of equity champions and financial institutions committed to identifying opportunities to improve access to affordable and inclusive credit in communities across the nation.
The partnership has launched a two-year pilot program to unlock capital for people of color, leading to wealth building in communities that have historically been under-resourced and under-represented. As part of the program, 20 lenders will leverage Stratyfy’s cutting-edge technology, including its credit risk and decision optimization solutions, to predict creditworthiness without bias and refine their loan policies to drive fairness.
“We are honored to partner with Beneficial State Foundation on this groundbreaking initiative,” said Laura Kornhauser, co-founder and CEO of Stratyfy. “The innovative lenders selected for the URJ program are redefining how people of color in their communities are able to access credit, and Stratyfy is the technology chosen to deliver the collective insights and recommended actions to make it happen!”
“Stratyfy is a key partner in this effort, using their credit risk solution to help lenders confidently make bold and meaningful changes, while managing risk and meeting regulatory requirements for safety and soundness,” said Erin Kilmer Neel, executive director and chief impact officer at Beneficial State Foundation. “Beneficial State Foundation launched the Underwriting for Racial Justice program to guide lenders through a process to increase access to fair credit.”
The program and Stratyfy’s solutions will allow lenders to convene, share and learn with peers doing similar work, furthering collaboration and a continuous exchange of insights among this group of financial institutions.
“The Vermont Community Loan Fund is committed to building new paths to capital for those who have been systemically disenfranchised,” said Jake Ide, director of investment & philanthropy at the Vermont Community Loan Fund (VCLF). “We are enthusiastic to work in unison with Stratyfy, URJ, and peer lenders to enrich the working knowledge of financial inclusion and advance racial justice in our Vermont community.”
“NBT Bank is excited to join forces with URJ and Stratyfy to expand access to capital for homebuyers of color in our New York and Connecticut market areas,” said NBT Executive Vice President and Consumer Lending Executive Shauna M. Hyle. “Our team looks forward to collaborating with the 20-lender cohort to enhance our individual and collective impact on racial equity in lending.”
Black and Latino or Hispanic borrowers are more likely than their white counterparts to depend on high interest financial services, which has caused many to either go without or turn to unsafe, exploitative banking alternatives. Stratyfy and Beneficial State Foundation are committed to addressing these longstanding inequities and promoting fair lending practices with innovative technology solutions.
“As a former chief credit officer of a community development financial institution, I understand the importance of taking tangible actions to address the systemic racial disparities in lending,” said Shannan Herbert, executive vice president of inclusive credit at Stratyfy. “By combining Stratyfy’s technology with URJ’s mission-driven approach, lenders will have the resources to instigate industry-wide change, remove antiquated, racially-inequitable practices, and make new, equitable lending into standard practice.”
The selected lenders that have agreed to transform their lending practices to expand financial inclusion and access to capital for borrowers of color are:
- Beneficial State Bank
- Berkshire Bank
- Chehalis Tribal Loan Fund
- Community Vision
- Eastern Bank
- Enterprise Community Loan Fund (ECLF)
- Leech Lake Financial Services
- Montecito Bank & Trust
- NBT Bank, N.A.
- New Orleans Fireman’s Federal Credit Union
- REDF Impact Investing Fund
- Rivermark Community Credit Union
- Texas National Bank
- Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity Lending, Inc.
- Urban Redevelopment Authority
- Vermont Community Loan Fund
- Working Solutions CDFI
- Washington State Employees Credit Union
Stratyfy works with financial institutions to implement AI and machine learning solutions addressing many critical operations, including automating credit risk assessment, fraud detection, bias mitigation, and other complex tasks without new operational or regulatory risks. Stratyfy’s transparent and interpretable solutions help institutions serve more customers by seamlessly combining automated data evaluation with the wisdom of real people to make better, faster, and more equitable decisions. Follow Stratyfy on Twitter and LinkedIn. For more information, visit http://www.stratyfy.com.
Caliber Corporate Advisers