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Nancy Feig
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California Bank & Trust Adopts Provenir Platform To Control Small Business Loans

With the goal of gaining more autonomy and speeding up changes to credit-scored loans, the California bank implements Provenir's online small business loan platform.

San Diego-based California Bank & Trust ($11 billion in assets), an affiliate of Salt Lake City-based Zions Bancorporation, closes each year more than 6,000 credit-scored small business loans that originate online. But the ASP-based, online credit-management system from LiveCapital (which has since been acquired by Short Hills, N.J.-based D&B) that the bank had in place enabled it to approve or deny loans up to $250,000 via the Internet based on only limited credit-scoring information, according to Paul Herman, EVP and manager, small business, California Bank & Trust.

With the LiveCapital contract coming due at the end of 2005, California Bank & Trust rushed in early 2005 to find a solution that would give it more control over the loan decisioning, Herman relates. "We had a very short window of opportunity to replace the existing originations system," he says.

Taking Ownership

Herman says the bank wanted a solution it could own and manage in-house. "ASP gave us less autonomy -- we were subject to their rules and their systems," he explains. "It was just a matter of control; we are control freaks."

According to Herman, the bank sought a solution with front-end capabilities similar to its existing system that could issue an approval or denial in less than 10 minutes online. But the bank also wanted to gain the back-end capabilities of being able to modify a rule on the fly, he stresses, noting that changes to the LiveCapital system could take up to three months to complete. The bank took a close look at three systems: Fair Isaac's (Minneapolis) Capstone Decision Manager, Baker Hill's (Carmel, Ind.) OnePoint and the Provenir Platform from Parsippany, N.J.-based Provenir.

Provenir's solution -- which integrates business logic, workflows, decision processes, data integration, Web pages, and system documentation in a development and run-time software suite -- allowed the bank the most control, Herman says. As a result, California Bank & Trust purchased Provenir Platform in May 2005.

The bank began the six-month implementation in September 2005. Provenir's interaction manager -- which allows the bank to integrate custom HTML pages and forms into the workflow -- and the database behind that graphical interface took the longest to implement, Herman relates, noting that California Bank & Trust was the first Provenir client to use the vendor's interaction manager.

The bank, which runs on Oracle (Redwood City, Calif.) databases and servers, bought central processing units from Provenir for the implementation, Herman adds. While the bank does not use the platform to integrate with any of the bank's other internal systems, it does pull information from various credit bureaus, he notes.

The transition from LiveCapital to Provenir was virtually seamless for branch personnel and the bank's customers, according to Herman. On the front end, the solution is almost identical to what the bank previously had in place, he explains. Very little training on the new system was needed -- two California Bank & Trust employees visited Provenir's headquarters for training, Herman relates.

Since implementing Provenir Platform, California Bank & Trust now can make changes to its credit-scored loans much quicker, often in less than one week, compared with the three-month average it took with the old system, Herman says. From a performance standpoint, the solution has been excellent, he continues. "It has never crashed on us," Herman says.

And the solution also can be leveraged in other areas of the bank, Herman adds. He says the bank currently is exploring use of the platform for its back-office servicing function.

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