Manage episode 299037524 series 2494683
Tom Fox’s guest this week is Lauren Sparks. Lauren is the founder, Chairperson and President of Agility Bank, a woman-owned and led commercial community bank. Lauren has more than 35 years experience as a banking executive and has dedicated her career to helping growth-oriented business leaders achieve their financial goals. She and Tom talk about digital innovations for banking, and why community banks should not be written off as a thing of the past.
Fostering Small and Medium Business
Lauren founded Agility Banking because she felt that many women were being left behind in the decision processes in financial services. As a women-owned and women-led organization, Agility Banking is a minority depository institution. This designation offers many opportunities, such as having larger financial institutions and large corporations as partners. “Community banks fill a space and do lending that the larger banks have backed away from,” Lauren explains. Loans are harder to come by for smaller businesses and community banks like Agility are helping to mitigate that issue. With the technology that Agility is putting together, they can do smaller loans and bridge the gap that’s in the small and medium business market. Community banks can also pivot quicker than larger banks, as evidenced by the past few months.
Meeting Clients Where They Are
Agility is all about meeting clients where they are and creating innovations that can make banking easy and convenient. “So much about what we've built for the bank is about being on the client side of the desk,” Lauren stresses. “So more than just a checking account and really being able to adapt to circumstances and meeting the customer where they are, as opposed to always demanding that the client comes to the bank on the bank's terms.” The approach has been taking the perspective of a business bank and adapting to what the evolving small business market needs.
Agility is positioning itself for the ecosystem of the future. The banking industry is becoming more and more digital every day. As such, Agility always has to be prepared to spend money on new technology to make themselves available to their clients.
Lauren Sparks | LinkedIn
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