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Comments (42)

Sep 26, 2021 - 2:16pm

Justine Tobin is an investment banker, of course, not a commercial banker. Jokes about Tobin are always welcome and are a mainstay of the site.

The first thing that popped out at me was the figures that are visible at the 1:47 mark. I wanted to get a source on that, and the data comes from a 2008 study by the Urban Institute (…) on who received SBA 7(a) and 504 financing and in what amounts. Women-owned businesses get 16% of the funding despite being 21% of the applications. The figures are for loans from 2001-2004, so the data on the lending gap is 17 years old at this point. I don't wish to disparage the information entirely, but while I trust the Urban Institute (as a highly credible source of information shaping the real estate industry, even though partisan from time to time), the data would optimally be less stale.

Less than 0.5% of the more than 5,000 American commercial banks are certified as women owned by the Comptroller of the Currency, so there are some real questions about representation considering that women are approximately half of the population. Credit availability is an issue too. It wasn't until 1974 that a woman was guaranteed the right to apply for a credit card independent of her husband. There can be lingering biases in who is "creditworthy" that are based on prejudice rather than sound underwriting.

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  • VP in IB - Gen
Sep 26, 2021 - 2:32pm

In the grand scheme of things, I can't imagine women are being so discriminated against that a women's bank specializing in the "female economy" had to be established. Seems very gimmicky to me.

The CEO barely has any real world, professional banking experience. One of the main "advisors" is a retired lesbian tennis player from the 70's. Another is some D-list TV actress. Come on now...

Sep 26, 2021 - 2:50pm

Commercial banks can be incredibly niche (e.g. marijuana industry), so lending to women doesn't seem to be overly narrow from my view. This bank seems primarily focused on SBA products, and according to NerdWallet, for better or worse, ( it appears that at least in 2019, things were fairly well balanced (similar loan amounts, similar credit scores, etc.). I'm not particularly inclined to judge the niche here, although I suspect that the 2001-2004 gap has largely closed.

I would vehemently reject that Ms. Markowitz "barely has any real world, professional banking experience" and am somewhat shocked that anyone would suggest that here. She has worked for CIBC's government lending division for over two years and spent 7 years at the SBA as first a Regional Administrator, then an Acting Administrator, overseeing over 3K employees and $90B worth of loan guarantees. If that doesn't constitute banking experience, then heaven help any of us if we try to start a commercial bank. She led the SBA.

Billie Jean King is primarily involved with the firm because she's an investor. That's her business. It's not like she's the brain trust or anything. She's an investor and they want the optics.

Sep 27, 2021 - 8:11pm

Honestly, we could talk about woke culture and that's all valid, but really the proximate cause is close to 2 decades of easy money policies. Not even post-COVID or post-2008, but really post-NASDAQ burst in 2001.

You could probably start a bank nowadays with something blatantly offensive and nominally a "cancelable" offense as their slogan, and you'd still probably get traction. My advice is make money while you can, and we'll probably have fun for 3-5 years or so, and then I just don't see any of this ending well.

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Sep 27, 2021 - 8:46pm

Not to be nitpicky, but you seem to have the Urban Institute confused with the Urban Land Institute. ULI is the real estate development organization, but the Urban Institute is a DC think tank founded by Lyndon Johnson. Both deal with economic policy in a way, so not a bad mistake.

I’m a fun guy. Obviously I love the game of basketball. I mean there’s more questions you have to ask me in order for me to tell you about myself. I'm not just gonna give you a whole spill... I mean, I don't even know where you're sitting at

Sep 26, 2021 - 3:03pm

They're going to crush this niche. So many girl bosses are going to use this bank.

I don't think there is anything specific to women that regular banks are missing in their services. However, I'm not a woman, so I have no idea.

I don't really buy the bias and discrimination angle, if there were actually evidence of that the lawsuits would come pouring in.

Sep 28, 2021 - 11:37am

Entirely agreed. People are really missing the point - there's little that differentiates major commercial banks. This is a clear edge that will resonate with a significant number of people. Doubt this is the last we'll be seeing of female orientated banks. 

Sep 28, 2021 - 3:46pm

I wonder if their branches/offices will have photo booths and picture walls for all of their girl boss employees and clientele

I think I did this right

  • 1
Sep 28, 2021 - 9:46am

Coming from a Fintech background it is strange to see how many challenger banks have a minority population spin to them. From women banks to Hispanic banks, I can understand what the proposed value is but rarely see it materialize. More often than not these startups say they are creating a bespoke banking experience for population ABC, and then use some random BaaS back-end with a UI featuring stereotypical color schemes and logos from said population. I'm not against this space, I just find the existing companies to be virtue signalling pieces of garbage lol

Sep 28, 2021 - 12:31pm

When there was a thread about women doing better than men in college even in fields like STEM, the culprits were AOC, female teachers, single moms, SJWs and some even suggested the west needed to collapse.

Now when there aren't many women founders in banking, its "git gud".

This website is not against affirmative action, they just want to be the beneficiaries of it

Sep 28, 2021 - 4:55pm

Can your brain not process more than one or two lines at a time?


Sep 28, 2021 - 3:28pm

Isn't a woman's bank kinda anti-feminist? Like you're not pursuing equality, you're excluding sexes from your potential employment pool and as a result limiting equal opportunities for all.

I think I did this right

  • VP in IB - Cov
Sep 30, 2021 - 7:08pm

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  • VP in IB - Gen
Sep 30, 2021 - 9:10pm

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