The Btech consortium sets out to advance community banking technology

LOS ANGELES–(COMMERCIAL THREAD)–The Btech Consortium announces the launch of a strategic technology partnership between US community banks, Elizabeth Park Capital Management and Strandview Capital. The mission of the Btech Consortium is to enable community banks to compete more effectively with larger money center banks, reduce their constraints due to legacy technology, and better serve their local communities.

Bank members pool capital and resources, and the Consortium invests in emerging technology companies that serve the community banking sector. As consortium members, banks can gain insights into emerging fintech trends, develop better strategic IT roadmap decisions, and vet fintech vendors more efficiently. Emerging technology companies benefit from receiving strategic capital and potential new bank clients from the Consortium.

“We are delighted to join the Btech Consortium,” said Irene Oh, CFO of East West Bank. “We expect the consortium to provide us with a curated understanding of the solution-oriented financial technology solutions of our high-priority initiatives to improve the user experience of our clients, strengthen risk management and improve efficiency.”

A vital element of the Btech Consortium is the Consortium HUB, a proprietary information exchange for members only. Through the HUB, bank members can access the following:

– Important trends in banking technology

– Emerging fintech companies

– Fintech industry overview

– Fintech product demos

– Investment pipeline

– Co-investment opportunity

– Best practices among bank members

In particular, the HUB includes a dedicated HUB Manager to optimize the strategic value of the information HUB for bank members and encourage collaboration between banks.

“Technologically advanced community banks that have joined the Btech Consortium are taking a leadership role in advancing technology for the entire community banking industry,” said Fred Cummings, founder and president of Elizabeth Park. “Community banks play a vital role in keeping local communities thriving. We increasingly view technology as a key differentiator that enables banks to better serve their customers, generate new sources of revenue, and operate more efficiently. Our deep understanding of the community banking industry and Strandview Capital’s decades of experience with fintech investing provide a unique opportunity for our bank members.”

Banking technology has experienced rapid innovation over the past decade, enabling banks to integrate new technology solutions as they migrate legacy technology to the cloud. However, banks have been inundated with offers from fintech providers and are looking for more efficient ways to navigate the rapidly changing banking technology landscape. The Btech Consortium brings together community banks to help address this challenge.

“Customers Bank has been at the forefront of banking technology for nearly a decade. The Btech Consortium helps solve the buy vs build dilemma faced by mid-sized and community banks by giving us access to a range of fresh, cutting-edge solutions that can be tailored to the needs of Consortium members,” said Sam Sidhu, CEO of Customer Bank.

The Btech Consortium will focus on investments in technology companies that address the specific needs of the consortium banks. Areas of focus include business payments, cybersecurity, commercial loan origination and servicing, regulatory compliance, API integration to core systems, robotic process automation, credit analysis , document management and collection of trade deposits.

“Consortium banks are not a new concept,” says Mike Sekits, co-founder of Strandview Capital. “Money center banks have formed technology consortia for decades, such as VISA, MECA Software and Zelle. The term “fintech” has become fashionable, and shiny things like blockchain and unprofitable consumer banking models are getting a lot of attention. While we monitor blockchain closely, the Consortium is focused on a short-term, hands-on approach to help banks achieve a digital-native, API-driven, mobile-first banking environment. The Consortium approaches fintech investing in a pragmatic and highly collaborative manner based on decades of fintech investing experience.

Community banks have significant competitive advantages, and new proven technologies already used in other industries can enhance those advantages if banks work together. The Btech Consortium facilitates collaboration and helps create a level playing field for community banks.

“Several large, technologically advanced community banks have joined as founding members of the Btech Consortium, and we have strong interest from others,” adds Fred Cummings. “We also have members of smaller tech banks with less legacy technology, potentially making the transition to cloud-native platforms easier. We invite banks interested in the Consortium to contact us to join.

For banks interested in joining the consortium, please contact [email protected]

For more information about the Btech Consortium, visit https://www.btechconsortium.com.

About the Btech Consortium

The Btech Consortium is a partnership between community banks, Elizabeth Park Capital Management and Strandview Capital. The Consortium’s mission is to enable community banks to better serve their local communities, compete more effectively with banks in larger money centers, and be less constrained by legacy technology. The Btech Consortium invests in emerging technology companies that empower community banks and accelerate their technology initiatives. As consortium members, banks can gain insights into emerging fintech trends, develop better strategic IT roadmap decisions, and vet fintech vendors more efficiently.

Information on the Eastern West Bank

East West Bancorp, Inc. is a public company with total assets of $62.6 billion and is traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the ticker symbol “EWBC”. The Company’s wholly owned subsidiary, East West Bank, is the largest independent bank headquartered in Southern California, operating in more than 120 locations in the United States and China. The Company’s markets in the United States include California, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Nevada, New York, Texas and Washington. In China, East West’s presence includes full-service subsidiaries in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Shantou and Shenzhen and representative offices in Beijing, Chongqing, Guangzhou and Xiamen. For more information about East West, please visit the Company’s website at www.eastwestbank.com.

Bancorp, Inc. Client Information

Clients Bancorp, Inc. (NYSE:CUBI) is one of the nation’s best-performing banking companies with more than $20 billion in assets, making it one of the 100 largest bank holding companies in the United States. Through its parent company, Customers Bank, commercial and consumer customers benefit from a full suite of technology-enabled, tailored product experience delivered by best-in-class customer service. A pioneer in Banking-as-a-Service and digital banking products, Customers Bank is one of the very few banks that provides a blockchain-based 24/7/365 digital payment solution. In addition to traditional lines such as C&I lending, commercial property lending and multi-family lending, Customers Bank also provides a range of domestic corporate banking services for Lender Finance, Fund Finance, Financial Institutions, Technology and Venture and Healthcare customers. Major accolades include:

Third best performing bank with over $10 billion in assets at the end of 2021 according to S&P Global S&P Global Market Intelligence,

#6 in the best performing banks with assets between $10 billion and $50 billion in 2021 by American Banker and

#21 of the 100 largest publicly traded banks in 2022 according to Forbes.

A member of the Federal Reserve System with deposits insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Customers Bank is an equal opportunity lender. Learn more: www.customersbank.com.

About Elizabeth Park Capital

Elizabeth Park Capital Management is a US bank and institutional alternative asset manager founded in 2008 by Fred Cummings. The firm has extensive experience managing hedged, long-only and thematic portfolios. The six-person investment team has over 130 years of combined experience. The firm employs a fundamental, bottom-up investment process that focuses on micro-, small-, and mid-cap banks.

About Strandview Capital

Strandview Capital is a venture capital firm that provides strategic growth capital to privately held companies in the technology and financial services industries. Strandview has decades of experience advising and investing in financial technology companies. Strandview Capital uses a collegial and hands-on approach to company building and works closely with management teams to accelerate growth, establish distribution partnerships, grow revenues and achieve profitability.

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