After Comeback WBL Hits The “Express” Lane

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When World Business Lenders (WBL) resumed funding in April, they made it a point to announce that it wasn’t just going to be some regular old reboot with fresh capital. The company was going digital. At the helm of the changes taking place is a new face, John Milligan, who has more than 25 years of experience in maximizing profitability and long-term growth for lending companies. He’s now not only the company’s Managing Director and the Chief Operating Officer but he’s also spearheading loan production. And one of the first initiatives he touted was a more streamlined process for ISO partners.

The company’s ambitions first had to contend with any fallout of having paused lending in the first place, which started on December 9, 2022. At the time, WBL CEO Doug Naidus Cited “unplanned growth given market conditions” as the cause and loan applications in the pipeline that were caught off guard by the unexpected news entered a sort of suspended animation. WBL later secured financing in April that not only enabled the company to resume originating and funding loans “but afforded access to more lending capacity than ever before.”

The resumption spurred a race to revisit those pending deals from five months earlier to see what, if anything, might still be willing and eligible to move forward.

“The merchants in our active pipeline were our first priority,” Milligan said, “and we are pleased that many of them were able to complete their loan once we relaunched.”

That they waited the whole time was a big sign of confidence for WBL. The company’s unique product offering might have played a role in why the borrowers and their ISOs were so patient, however. WBL offers real-estate backed commercial loans in a field of competitors that are mostly pre-occupied with unsecured working capital financing, for example. Although it stands apart, the pace of funding and potential unfamiliarity with the process could be a drawback for ISOs not used to it. That was part of the inspiration for WBL’s “ISO Express.”

“First, ISO Express was conceived based upon feedback from ISOs that a faster, more streamlined program would be beneficial,” Milligan said. “Second, there are many ISOs which are unfamiliar with our real estate collateralized commercial loan products and ISO Express is a perfect introduction for them.”

The ISO Express program consists of 1-2 hour pre-qualifications after submission and 10-day closing guarantees for loans collateralized by residential properties. They accept pledges of second homes, investment properties and primary residences (in most states) as collateral; and say that being in a junior lien position is acceptable. Loans that are to be collateralized by commercial properties can also be submitted through ISO Express but Milligan says those are better suited for their Account Executive channel where ISOs can still engage with a traditional rep.

WBL also simplified their product to a standard interest rate and term, which they feel will make the total loan process faster and easier to understand. Overall, their return to the industry and these changes have led to an outcome that they’re happy with so far.

“In fact, since we relaunched, we have seen an increase in the total of number ISOs registered with WBL,” said Milligan, “driven by a combination of our new ISO Express program, an increased demand by small businesses for capital, and general tightening of credit guidelines throughout the market.”

Last modified: August 10, 2023

Category: Business Lending

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