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Hubris Kills Banks: The Critical balance between Ambition and Humility in Banking Success
Episode 329th February 2024 • Fintech Confidential • DD3, Media
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In Episode Three of 'Accrued: The FinTech Confidential Series' presented by LoanPro, host Tedd Huff and co-host Colton Pond engage with Brent Beardall, the President and CEO of WaFd Bank. Brent shares his journey of resilience and its impact on his leadership, emphasizing the importance of passion and making a difference. He discusses the transformation of WaFd Bank into a digital-first institution and the pivotal role of technology in maintaining relevance as a regional bank. The conversation delves into the challenges and opportunities in the lending landscape, highlighting the need for a holistic approach to banking, the significance of personalizing lending products, and the strategic importance of deposits. Brent also explores the potential of technology to enhance customer relationships and drive continuous improvement.

Key Highlights:

  • Leadership and Resilience: Brent's personal journey of resilience has profoundly shaped his leadership style, emphasizing passion and the desire to make a difference.
  • Digital Transformation: The transition of WaFd Bank into a digital-first bank underlines the critical role of technology in staying competitive and relevant.
  • Holistic Banking Approach: Emphasizing a comprehensive view of banking that integrates various aspects impacting lending, including a focus on personalized lending products.
  • Strategic Prioritization: The importance of effective prioritization, understanding the significance of deposits, and addressing strategic challenges in banking.
  • Commercial Real Estate Insights: Insights into the commercial real estate sector, assessing credit risk, and understanding different market segments.
  • Innovation in Lending: Opportunities for innovation in lending services, leveraging data analytics, and enhancing customer service.
  • Customer Feedback: The value of gathering and acting on customer feedback to drive continuous improvement in banking services.
  • Future of Banking and Lending: Brent's perspective on the future, including the potential risks and benefits of artificial intelligence in the banking sector.

Takeaways:

  • Adopt a holistic approach to banking, considering all aspects that impact lending.
  • Personalize lending products and services using data to meet customer needs effectively.
  • Prioritize strategic challenges and understand the critical role of deposits in banking.
  • Gain insights into commercial real estate to navigate credit risks and market dynamics.
  • Embrace innovation in lending services, focusing on problem-solving and enhancing customer relationships.
  • Collect and utilize customer feedback to drive continuous improvement and adapt to changing needs.
  • Balance innovation with compliance and be cautious about the evolving role of artificial intelligence in banking.

Also, watch the entire episode on YouTube.

Links:

WaFd Bank

Website: https://www.wafdbank.com/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/wafd-bank/

X (formerly Twitter): https://twitter.com/WAFDbank

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/WAFDbank

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wafdbank/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/@WAFDBank

Brent Beardall

Linkedin Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brent-beardall-2b413bb/

Fintech Confidential

YouTube: https://fintechconfidential.com/watch

Podcast: https://fintechconfidential.com/listen

Notifications: https://fintechconfidential.com/access

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/fintechconfidential

Twitter: https://twitter.com/FTconfidential

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fintechconfidential

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fintechconfidential

Support is provided by:

LoanPro - As default rates continue to rise and margins compress in lending, financial organizations are searching for solutions that combine operational efficiency with innovation. Look no further, as LoanPro allows lenders to enhance their origination, servicing, collections, and payments using the foundation of a modern lending core. Check out loanpro.io to learn more about how 600+ financial organizations have modernized their tech stack with LoanPro.

HAWK:AI - HAWK:AI's game-changing approach to compliance. With real-time monitoring, adaptive learning, and advanced AI, it cuts false positives, simplifying your compliance efforts. Upgrade your surveillance with ease. Visit https://gethawkai.com for more intelligent, more effective compliance.

Time Stamps:

00:00 Introduction

01:23 Brent Beardall's Leadership Journey

04:52 Brent's Personal Tragedy and Resilience

07:48 Lessons Learned from Personal Tragedy

09:39 Passion and Making a Difference

11:03 Creating a Culture of Caring

12:45 Brent's Leadership Style

15:10 Transforming Wafed Bank into a Digital-First Bank

17:13 Empowering Team Members

17:59 Staying Relevant as a Regional Bank

18:38 Avoiding Hubris in Banking

23:23 Leveraging Technology for Differentiation and Growth

28:06 Prioritizing Technology in Financial Institutions

33:33 Innovation at Wafed Bank

38:28 Challenges in the Lending Landscape

40:43 The Role of Technology in Lending

41:55 Taking a Holistic Approach to Banking

42:35 Personalizing Lending Products

43:27 Prioritizing Strategic Challenges

44:20 The Importance of Deposits

45:45 Understanding Commercial Real Estate

47:09 Opportunities in Lending Services

47:37 Flexibility in Loan Servicing

49:13 Gathering Feedback from Customers

51:23 Prioritizing and Acting on Feedback

55:46 The Future of Banking and Lending


This is a Production of Diamond D3, Media

ABOUT:

Brent Beardall: Brent Beardall is the President & Chief Executive Officer of WaFd Bank, a national bank headquartered in Seattle, Washington (NASDAQ: WAFD). WaFd Bank is the largest bank headquartered in Washington State with over $22 billion in assets and 215 offices located in eight western states. In 2021 WaFd Bank was recognized as the best bank in four of its eight states (Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and New Mexico) by Newsweek. Mr. Beardall joined WaFd Bank in 2001 as Vice President & Controller. In 2003 he was promoted to Chief Financial Officer, a position he served in for eleven years. Prior to this he served as Chief Banking Officer where he was responsible for all client-facing activities of the bank. He was awarded the title of President & CEO in 2017, becoming only the sixth CEO in the bank’s 104-year history. In 2018 WaFd undertook a bold initiative “Vision 2025” to transform into a “digital first bank,” with the vision of having a real time understanding of clients’ financial health, anticipating their needs, and helping them make better financial decisions. His simple ask of all employees is to “love what they do and make a difference.” Mr. Beardall received a master’s degree in Professional Accounting from Brigham Young University and is a licensed Certified Public Accountant in Washington State.  He completed Stanford University’s Executive Program in August 2013. In 2012 he was recognized as “CFO of the year” by the Puget Sound Business Journal and currently serves on the boards of the YMCA of Greater Seattle, United Way King County, Pacific Coast Banking School, and the Washington Bankers Association.

About the Hosts:

Tedd Huff is the Co-Founder of Voalyre and the President & Founder of Diamond D3, a consultancy renowned for its expertise in global payments and marketing. With over two decades of experience in FinTech, Huff has played a pivotal role in shaping the industry through his contributions to various startups and established companies, focusing on growth, innovation, process improvements, and enhancing user experience in the complexity of payments.

Colton Pond is a seasoned marketing executive with a strong fintech and financial services background. In his latest role, Colton is the CMO for LoanPro's API-first lending platform, aiming to meet the increasing market demands. His track record includes a significant tenure at Truv, where he led the marketing team to achieve a 300% growth in year-over-year revenue. Colton has also held key marketing and sales positions at MX, Lucid, and HealthEquity, demonstrating his ability to drive success and innovation within the fintech sector.

Diamond D3, Media: A media creation, management, and production company delivering engaging content globally

Transcripts

Brent Beardall:

the call center should just be online banking.

Brent Beardall:

It really should be a, a different front end to be able to access it.

Brent Beardall:

one of the very, very cool things of working with Amazon, we have, uh, all

Brent Beardall:

of our cloud infrastructure at Amazon.

Brent Beardall:

So we were able to work with them and basically take their Alexa technology

Brent Beardall:

and put that in, online banking so you can now call in with your voice and

Brent Beardall:

it authenticates you using your voice.

Brent Beardall:

even better is the security aspect of it, because it has to be your

Brent Beardall:

voice from your phone we know AI can duplicate your voice, so

Tedd Huff:

it's very secure.

Tedd Huff:

It's multifactor authentication, but how cool that when it

Tedd Huff:

calls in, it says hybrid.

Tedd Huff:

How can I help you?

Tedd Huff:

welcome to Fintech Confidential, bringing you the people, tech, and companies

Tedd Huff:

that change how you pay and get paid.

Tedd Huff:

Welcome to accrued the FinTech confidential series presented by Loan Pro.

Tedd Huff:

In this series, we're deconstructing the complexities of lending and

Tedd Huff:

exploring compliance, optimization, modernization, and personalization.

Tedd Huff:

Through insightful conversations with the industry's best,

Tedd Huff:

I'm Tedd Huff, and with my.

Tedd Huff:

cohost, Colton Pond will be guiding you through the intricate lending world.

Tedd Huff:

Whether you're deep in Lin Tech or just intrigued on how the

Tedd Huff:

technology is reshaping the lending industry, you're in the right place.

Tedd Huff:

So let's go ahead and dive into the next episode of Accrued.

Tedd Huff:

Brent, one of the really cool things is you and I have had the

Tedd Huff:

opportunity to, to meet and we're, I'm super glad to have you on here.

Tedd Huff:

I know Colton's super glad to have you on.

Tedd Huff:

And you know, one of the things that I thought was really interesting is, is

Tedd Huff:

you and I have talked, and I've done a little bit of research under your

Tedd Huff:

leadership.

Tedd Huff:

Wafd Bank has

Tedd Huff:

Tedd Huff- Host, Fintech Confidential (Detached audio): become a massive powerhouse worth

Tedd Huff:

over $22 billion in assets, and your footprint has, has expanded out

Tedd Huff:

into eight of the Western states.

Tedd Huff:

And not only that, but in 20 21, 4 of those banks.

Tedd Huff:

We're recognized by Newsweek as the best bank, and that is one of the things that

Tedd Huff:

as we get into this, we'll dive into the commitment to excellence and innovation

Tedd Huff:

that has brought you to that point.

Tedd Huff:

for those who don't know, your Brent's journey

Tedd Huff:

started with WaFd Bank back

Tedd Huff:

Tedd Huff- Host, Fintech Confidential (Detached audio): in 2001, and he held a number of different

Tedd Huff:

roles, and from from our original discussion, Brent, the first role that

Tedd Huff:

you had was when you really weren't too excited about, but then you kind of

Tedd Huff:

moved yourself through the CFO, chief Banking Officer, and then in 2017 you

Tedd Huff:

were appointed the president and CEO, and you became only the sixth president,

Tedd Huff:

or sorry, sixth, CEO in the bank's history, which spans over a hundred years.

Tedd Huff:

Approximately one year later after that.

Tedd Huff:

You launched the Ambitious Vision 2025 Initiative to transform into a digital

Tedd Huff:

first bank and focusing on how you can help your clients with their financial

Tedd Huff:

health and making great decisions.

Tedd Huff:

And you have a quote that I love and I keep going back to is love

Tedd Huff:

what you do and make a difference.

Tedd Huff:

Colton, you've had the opportunity to really get to know Brent, and

Tedd Huff:

I'd love you to talk about some of the other things that people can't

Tedd Huff:

find by just doing a Google search.

Tedd Huff:

What else should we know?

Colton Pond:

It's a great question.

Colton Pond:

I, I, it's a lot of things I could share here.

Colton Pond:

Uh,

Colton Pond:

funny enough, last week, for those that have watched the, the series

Colton Pond:

to the point, we had John Maxfield on the show, and, uh, in the middle of the

Colton Pond:

show, John's phone blown up, blown up.

Colton Pond:

It's like five or six calls, and he is like,

Colton Pond:

Brent Beall trying to get ahold of me.

Colton Pond:

I was like, you know what?

Colton Pond:

Brett's one of the best humans I've ever met, and also one of the smartest,

Colton Pond:

uh, banking leaders that I've ever met.

Colton Pond:

Um, let's have him on the show, but sincerely, one of the best humans that

Colton Pond:

I've ever met, and one of the, the people that has the, the deepest heart

Colton Pond:

and ability to love, but also lead the people around him in, in a meaningful way.

Colton Pond:

So, Brett, I know you didn't need all that intro, but it is a

Colton Pond:

pleasure to have you on the show.

Brent Beardall:

Hey, Colton, first of all, I'm sorry to have fooled you, but clearly

Brent Beardall:

I, I have to have you totally fooled.

Brent Beardall:

And Tedd I don't know if you're available, but I'm looking for a new agent and I

Brent Beardall:

think you're just the for job.

Colton Pond:

Oh.

Tedd Huff:

Oh, Brent.

Tedd Huff:

Well, thank you.

Tedd Huff:

Uh, you know, today's discussion.

Tedd Huff:

We're gonna dive into you, Brent, you sharing your insights, how you've

Tedd Huff:

navigated the challenges and how other regional banks can, can use

Tedd Huff:

the role of technology in banking to really move themselves forward.

Tedd Huff:

And you've really got an interesting story around your personal journey of

Tedd Huff:

resilience and how you've leveraged that in your leadership across the bank.

Tedd Huff:

Colton, I, I know you wanted to, to dive into, of, some of the things

Tedd Huff:

about, about Brent that in his leadership style that you've learned.

Colton Pond:

one of the biggest things, Brent, last week when

Colton Pond:

we talked to John Maxfield.

Colton Pond:

in the, in John Maxwell's way, he basically said, Hey, the best banking

Colton Pond:

leaders have some sort of hardship or strategy in their life that they

Colton Pond:

overcome and that helps them become and become way better leaders.

Colton Pond:

So I would love to under or to give the audience an opportunity to understand what

Colton Pond:

that is for you, what kind of leader you are, and how you think about leadership

Colton Pond:

at the bank and driving WaFd forward.

Brent Beardall:

Uh, that, that's a, that's a pretty powerful way to start,

Brent Beardall:

but, we'll, we'll, we'll go ahead and start and, uh, and tribute to John.

Brent Beardall:

And, uh, Tedd and I were talking a little bit about this, it actually

Brent Beardall:

started for me when I was young, when I was, uh, only 15 years of age on.

Brent Beardall:

Christmas day, my father had been sick.

Brent Beardall:

And, um, my mom woke me up in the middle of the night, uh, between the

Brent Beardall:

25th and 26th and said, come in here.

Brent Beardall:

Dad's not doing well.

Brent Beardall:

And um, my dad was in a coma, uh, at the time, and we, we said, okay, we need

Brent Beardall:

to get him to the hospital to take too long to, uh, get the paramedic there.

Brent Beardall:

So I literally picked up my dad and carried him to the car and

Brent Beardall:

we took him to the hospital.

Brent Beardall:

I was 15 at the time of 1987.

Brent Beardall:

Remember, it's, you know, some things are just burned into your memory.

Brent Beardall:

My father never woke up from that.

Brent Beardall:

Uh, he passed seven days later.

Brent Beardall:

And so, uh, that was one of the defining moments in my life in that it forced

Brent Beardall:

me to kind of develop this switch.

Brent Beardall:

To be very, very serious.

Brent Beardall:

. At 15 years old who wants to be serious.

Brent Beardall:

Right.

Brent Beardall:

I was a, a teenager in, you know, California.

Brent Beardall:

I wanted to, you know, play in the surf and the sand and volleyball

Brent Beardall:

and, but I had to be really serious.

Brent Beardall:

But I also had to figure out that there's a way to flip a switch

Brent Beardall:

between being serious and having fun.

Brent Beardall:

And there's room in life to do both.

Brent Beardall:

And so it really forced me to mature, uh, pretty early.

Brent Beardall:

So that, that was kind of one defining moments for me.

Brent Beardall:

And I, to this day, I, I still like to blow people away.

Brent Beardall:

People say, oh, bank CEO can't do that.

Brent Beardall:

Hell yes, they Bank c banky CEOs can have lives, right?

Brent Beardall:

We can have personalities, we can be, be ourselves and we can say stupid

Brent Beardall:

things and we can dress like fools.

Brent Beardall:

It doesn't matter.

Brent Beardall:

Uh, what matters is that we're authentic.

Brent Beardall:

We're ourselves, and we work together with our teams to get stuff done.

Brent Beardall:

Um, and then secondly, uh, the big defining thing was about a year ago.

Brent Beardall:

Unfortunately, I was in a plane accident.

Brent Beardall:

Uh, on January 2nd of the 2023, there was a tragic plane accident that,

Brent Beardall:

uh, unfortunately took the life of my friend, the copilot or the pilot.

Brent Beardall:

And, uh, I was in the copilot seat.

Brent Beardall:

And, uh.

Brent Beardall:

Anyhow, suffered life threatening injuries.

Brent Beardall:

Uh, it was touch and go, uh, for me for a while.

Brent Beardall:

Uh, but bottom line, after a couple of days of surgeries and thanks to the love

Brent Beardall:

and prayers of so many, I was able to make it out and, um, I was able to get back to

Brent Beardall:

work, uh, when February 13th of last year.

Brent Beardall:

still in a wheelchair, uh, and people are like, Beardall you're nuts.

Brent Beardall:

Why would you go back to work?

Brent Beardall:

And I'm like, you don't understand.

Brent Beardall:

For me, work is an outlet.

Brent Beardall:

It's, it's a wonderful thing.

Brent Beardall:

It fills my cup.

Brent Beardall:

And so, uh, that, that has been a real defining moment for me.

Brent Beardall:

And just quickly, I mean, we, we could talk for hours on this.

Brent Beardall:

A couple of the lessons I, I learned in going through that.

Brent Beardall:

Number one, I was absolutely blown away and humbled by the

Brent Beardall:

outpouring of love and support.

Brent Beardall:

I, uh, a couple of people said, and this will sound morbid, but there's

Brent Beardall:

truth to it, that I had the good fortune of living through my own

Brent Beardall:

funeral, seeing the outpouring of love and support while I was still here.

Brent Beardall:

And one of the lessons I've learned is to not be ashamed or be

Brent Beardall:

afraid to tell people I love them.

Brent Beardall:

When people make a difference in my life, uh, somebody that we both know

Brent Beardall:

and love, Colton Brandon dewitt,

Brent Beardall:

would not be afraid to tell you he loved you.

Brent Beardall:

And I wouldn't be afraid to tell Brandon I loved him, right?

Brent Beardall:

Because life is too short to not tell the people that matter in your life that you

Brent Beardall:

love him and you grow up in this mistaken, uh, you know, identity, if you will.

Brent Beardall:

That if you're a professional, you can't tell somebody at work that you love them.

Brent Beardall:

Uh, that's, that's misguided in my opinion.

Brent Beardall:

Uh, yeah.

Brent Beardall:

Right.

Brent Beardall:

Clearly it's a professional environment.

Brent Beardall:

You need to keep it professional, but that doesn't mean you can't love people.

Brent Beardall:

And, uh, it, it's, it's one of the great lessons I've had and it's

Brent Beardall:

disarming and it also gives people.

Brent Beardall:

The authority to tell you how, how they feel,

Brent Beardall:

and whether that be, whether they love you or hate you.

Brent Beardall:

Right?

Brent Beardall:

It's not right.

Brent Beardall:

It's not, uh, one for one by any means, but it allows you to be real.

Brent Beardall:

It allows you to be authentic.

Brent Beardall:

And that gets back to what, what you led with this question, Tedd

Brent Beardall:

in terms of love, what you do.

Brent Beardall:

And, uh, to me, you have to be passionate about what you do.

Brent Beardall:

Life is too short.

Brent Beardall:

Every day we have is a gift.

Brent Beardall:

How do we choose to invest that time?

Brent Beardall:

There's any number of things we can do.

Brent Beardall:

Figure out a way to love what you do.

Brent Beardall:

And if you don't go do something else, you're empowered.

Brent Beardall:

And that that is the beauty of living in this country, having freedom.

Brent Beardall:

We can do whatever the hell we wanna do.

Brent Beardall:

So figure out how to do something that you love, what you're doing.

Brent Beardall:

And that's the advice I always tell kids when they say, well, what

Brent Beardall:

field should I go into working in?

Brent Beardall:

So what are you passionate about?

Brent Beardall:

What do you care about?

Brent Beardall:

Right?

Brent Beardall:

And that doesn't mean all of our jobs are sexy,

Brent Beardall:

mean, each, each and every one of us, there's things you go, oh my goodness,

Brent Beardall:

I have to spend time doing this.

Brent Beardall:

But it, as we all know, sometimes you've gotta take the bad with the good.

Brent Beardall:

And it's, it's not all roses, but on, in totality.

Brent Beardall:

You, you have to love what you do.

Brent Beardall:

Then after you figure out how to love what you do, be passionate

Brent Beardall:

about what you're doing.

Brent Beardall:

The real key to culture, in my opinion, is making a difference, right?

Brent Beardall:

Because that's, and Tedd you and I have talked about that, that's caring.

Brent Beardall:

You want employees that care, and if you care, you're not gonna

Brent Beardall:

see something that's going wrong and say, yeah, not my issue.

Brent Beardall:

Let somebody else deal with it.

Brent Beardall:

You're gonna say, I don't care what my job description says.

Brent Beardall:

If there's a problem, I wanna try to solve that, right?

Brent Beardall:

Because we're here to try to create raving fans.

Brent Beardall:

If we're not here to create raving fans, go someplace else, I wanna fill the bank

Brent Beardall:

with people that wanna create raving fans.

Brent Beardall:

Life is too short not to have raving fans and it as a result,

Brent Beardall:

we've been able to take our net promoter score from a 17, five years ago up

Brent Beardall:

to a 57, I think a 57 net promoter score puts us probably in the top 15%

Brent Beardall:

of all financial institutions in the United States, which is not bad for a

Brent Beardall:

bank that's been around for 105 years.

Brent Beardall:

And believe me, we still have wood to chop.

Colton Pond:

Yeah, I love that.

Colton Pond:

Uh, Brett, there's two aspects that I will, one, I I will say

Colton Pond:

I've been to WaFds headquarters, you see it in your employees.

Colton Pond:

Like when I walked in, you into some banks, you're like, uh,

Colton Pond:

people don't wanna be there.

Colton Pond:

Clock in at nine, out at five.

Colton Pond:

They're like, I'm done.

Colton Pond:

Right?

Colton Pond:

I'm out.

Colton Pond:

but you see the passion and the passion that you brought there.

Colton Pond:

And then the other aspect you brought up Brandon Dewitt, um, who was both mine

Colton Pond:

and, and Brent's really good friend, the the late CTO and Co-founder of mx.

Colton Pond:

But he would always say something that, I remember when I heard about your accident

Colton Pond:

and we spoke after I thought about,

Colton Pond:

he would always say, life is beautiful and act like it.

Colton Pond:

And it is.

Colton Pond:

Life is beautiful.

Colton Pond:

Life is a beautiful gift.

Colton Pond:

: Amen.

Colton Pond:

what's awesome to me to see, especially at WaFd is you turning

Colton Pond:

around metrics like NPS and other things like that, but doing it at the top.

Colton Pond:

you as a, a leader of WaFd and your entire executive team.

Colton Pond:

Aligned on driving forward the mission purpose of WaFd and all down to the

Colton Pond:

entry level tellers at, at the bank and, and everyone throughout the bank.

Colton Pond:

And I love that culture.

Colton Pond:

It's, I think it's a key aspect of the success that you all have driven.

Brent Beardall:

Well, and, and the sad reality is we have a co, a

Brent Beardall:

competitive advantage because there's a lot of bank management teams.

Brent Beardall:

They're just here to ride out till retirement.

Brent Beardall:

you know, I really don't want to take a chance on x, y, Z

Brent Beardall:

initiative because it could fail.

Brent Beardall:

Why?

Brent Beardall:

Why?

Brent Beardall:

Why would I upset the apple cart?

Brent Beardall:

And to us, we've got a fairly young management team that we've got, you know,

Brent Beardall:

10, 15, 20 years in front of us and we're like, hell yeah, let's take a chance.

Brent Beardall:

Let's try to do something special.

Brent Beardall:

Let's see, how can we literally leapfrog generations of technology and.

Brent Beardall:

Right.

Brent Beardall:

One of our biggest problems is how do we hire bankers today?

Brent Beardall:

So let's, let's utilize ai.

Brent Beardall:

To make the jobs more interesting, right, to allow them to do things.

Brent Beardall:

Uh, we're, we're, right now we're going through a conversion.

Brent Beardall:

we just got approved to acquire Luther Burbank in California.

Brent Beardall:

It's a $8 billion bank.

Brent Beardall:

Uh, we will close on the transaction on the 29th of February.

Brent Beardall:

So that's, uh, leap Day, Thursday the 29th.

Brent Beardall:

On Friday the 1st of March, we will close the branches early

Brent Beardall:

and we will start conversion.

Brent Beardall:

And on Monday the fourth, we will have every one of their systems converted,

Brent Beardall:

all the signage, everything done.

Brent Beardall:

To my knowledge in the history of banking, there may be one or

Brent Beardall:

two, but I don't know about 'em.

Brent Beardall:

Nobody has done it faster than that.

Brent Beardall:

Right?

Brent Beardall:

And believe me, there is fur flying all over the place.

Brent Beardall:

I mean, there's all of things that need to happen right now,

Brent Beardall:

what I have everybody focused on, we, in each of their branches,

Brent Beardall:

we will have two wafe employees.

Brent Beardall:

And we're going to go out not only and greet the customers as they

Brent Beardall:

come in, we're getting lists of all their customers, their you, their,

Brent Beardall:

their largest, their best customers.

Brent Beardall:

And we're gonna call 'em up individually

Colton Pond:

I love that.

Colton Pond:

Tedd Huff- Host, Fintech Confidential (Detached audio): Nice.

Brent Beardall:

and say, welcome to WaFd Bank.

Brent Beardall:

Let me introduce myself.

Brent Beardall:

I don't need anything from you.

Brent Beardall:

I'm not scamming you or anything.

Brent Beardall:

I just wanna let you know we're here.

Brent Beardall:

We care about you.

Brent Beardall:

We appreciate it.

Brent Beardall:

And by the way, let me tell you about the products and services we can

Brent Beardall:

offer now that you didn't have before.

Brent Beardall:

It's not rocket science.

Brent Beardall:

It turns out people care.

Brent Beardall:

If you can personalize an experience, you differentiate yourself.

Tedd Huff:

Well, and that that aligns with the human-centered leadership,

Tedd Huff:

that, that you've establ that culture that you've established at the bank.

Tedd Huff:

And I'm curious

Tedd Huff:

how have you seen your personal values in the culture, mission, and vision of

Tedd Huff:

the bank transform as as you have, and especially with this acquisition, how

Tedd Huff:

do you see that lending to a smooth transition in such a short time?

Brent Beardall:

it's really all about empowerment, right?

Brent Beardall:

If, if I'm going to challenge everybody to love what they do

Brent Beardall:

and make a difference, I have to empower them to make that difference.

Brent Beardall:

Um, you, you, you know how it is in banking.

Brent Beardall:

It, it's typically about command and control.

Brent Beardall:

And internal controls that will prevent you from making mistake

Brent Beardall:

after mistake after mistake.

Brent Beardall:

And generally you can't get anything done.

Brent Beardall:

We had to be willing to let go a little bit and recognize that it's okay to fail.

Brent Beardall:

My, my, my, my, I tell people they need to be failing because if they're not

Brent Beardall:

failing, they're not trying hard enough.

Brent Beardall:

I, I would imagine one or both of you ski a little bit, right?

Brent Beardall:

If you're a skier and you're never falling, it means you're not pushing

Brent Beardall:

it hard enough, You're just kinda,

Colton Pond:

that all the time, like all the time.

Colton Pond:

Every time we go skiing and she's taking it, she's like, she ends the

Colton Pond:

day and she's like, I fell five times.

Colton Pond:

How many times did you fall today it's a badge of honor.

Colton Pond:

You're so right.

Brent Beardall:

No, no, it, it is right?

Brent Beardall:

And it's too easy to just go through life just coasting, Hey, yeah,

Brent Beardall:

I didn't, I didn't fall at all.

Brent Beardall:

And again.

Brent Beardall:

This is just my judgment.

Brent Beardall:

Maybe I'm totally wrong, but no, I, I wanna be pushing the edge of

Brent Beardall:

the envelope to be getting better, to be improving and improving what

Brent Beardall:

we're offering to our clients.

Brent Beardall:

And that means sometimes we're gonna make mistakes, but if you make mistakes,

Brent Beardall:

right, you don't wanna fall off the cliff when you're skiing, right?

Brent Beardall:

You, you wanna, you wanna fall and somewhere that have powder and, you know,

Brent Beardall:

make sure it's not a yard sale, right?

Brent Beardall:

I say.

Brent Beardall:

Fail small, fail quickly, right?

Brent Beardall:

If you're gonna fail, you don't want it to be a 12 month failure process.

Brent Beardall:

It needs to be quickly,

Brent Beardall:

everybody's focus on the failures.

Brent Beardall:

Those failures enable outsized potential in terms of what you

Brent Beardall:

can get done by taking chances and thinking outside the box.

Brent Beardall:

And so that's really the key for me, is to say, Hey, this

Brent Beardall:

is what we're gonna try to do.

Brent Beardall:

What do you need from me to empower you to get it done?

Colton Pond:

I love the focus on how to empower your team members.

Colton Pond:

It's inter, as I've interacted with lots of your team members at WaFd

Colton Pond:

Bank, it's evident that they feel empowered, where that's not always

Colton Pond:

the case within the banking ecosystem.

Colton Pond:

y'all are, would be considered a regional bank, and we know over the past year and

Colton Pond:

a half or so, the negative consequences that hit have hit regional banks

Colton Pond:

and y'all have continued to grow and continue to show, uh, positive metrics.

Colton Pond:

I would love your perspective on man, man, what's, what's the secret sauce.

Colton Pond:

Um, what advice would you give to regional banks like you, you mentioned a lot about

Colton Pond:

taking risks and personalizing, like what advice would you give to regional banks

Colton Pond:

on how they stay relevant and profitable?

Brent Beardall:

Yeah, well this is probably similar to what you heard

Brent Beardall:

from John Maxfield, uh, because he and I have talked about it a lot.

Brent Beardall:

I try to be a student of banking history, right, because I wanna

Brent Beardall:

learn from others' mistakes.

Brent Beardall:

Uh, and if you look at bank failures historically, there is

Brent Beardall:

one common theme and that's hubris.

Brent Beardall:

It is human nature.

Brent Beardall:

You start having success and you start thinking that your, you know, body

Brent Beardall:

odor doesn't smell and you, you, you start thinking, you are all of that.

Brent Beardall:

And the reality is, no, my body odor smells right.

Brent Beardall:

I, I can stink at times.

Brent Beardall:

And you don't want to surround yourself with people that are

Brent Beardall:

just, Brent, you're so great.

Brent Beardall:

This is fantastic.

Brent Beardall:

And hopefully I do have some things that are, I'm doing okay,

Brent Beardall:

but I want people that also call me out and say, Berdall, what the

Brent Beardall:

hell were you thinking about this?

Brent Beardall:

Or, Hey, y you wanna, you wanna go, you know, run X, X, Y, Z play.

Brent Beardall:

That's exactly the wrong play we need to do.

Brent Beardall:

You know the other, play the opposite direction and it be

Brent Beardall:

empowered to have that conversation.

Brent Beardall:

It's one of the things that we are missing in our society today

Brent Beardall:

is constructive disagreement.

Brent Beardall:

I.

Brent Beardall:

Right.

Brent Beardall:

Let, let, let's be able to disagree.

Brent Beardall:

At the end of the day, we all need to rally and get on the same page,

Brent Beardall:

and I need to be humble enough to admit when I'm wrong, because there's

Brent Beardall:

gonna be times when I'm wrong.

Brent Beardall:

And that's what I think is part of making a difference, uh, here at the bank.

Brent Beardall:

I tell employees all the time, if they ever hear me say something

Brent Beardall:

that they believe is patently false, call me out on it.

Brent Beardall:

All right.

Brent Beardall:

There could be nothing worse than a leader that gets up there

Brent Beardall:

and says something that's wrong.

Brent Beardall:

Hopefully they do it in a respectful way and so forth.

Brent Beardall:

But no, I'm not all that.

Brent Beardall:

you look at Silicon Valley Bank, which caused the crisis of last spring,

Brent Beardall:

they were guilty of a lot of things.

Brent Beardall:

They were guilty of mismanaging the bank from an interest rate

Brent Beardall:

risk standpoint, but their biggest.

Brent Beardall:

Fault, in my opinion, was hubris.

Brent Beardall:

Every time they went to the capital markets, the capital markets

Brent Beardall:

said, how much money do you want?

Brent Beardall:

They would give them more capital every single time for 40 years.

Brent Beardall:

: So the hubris was, you know what, let's announce this balance sheet.

Brent Beardall:

Restructuring that we're gonna take $2 billion of losses and so what?

Brent Beardall:

It blows a hole in our balance sheet.

Brent Beardall:

We'll just go, you know,

Brent Beardall:

past the hat and get more capital.

Brent Beardall:

The, the hubris was just that, you know, hey, somebody else, they'll,

Brent Beardall:

they'll solve the problem in the, in the equity market, said, okay,

Brent Beardall:

great, we we like you, we'll fill it.

Brent Beardall:

You took $2 billion of losses.

Brent Beardall:

Let us ask one more question.

Brent Beardall:

How much more do you have to take in losses?

Brent Beardall:

And when they looked at that, and it was in all their public

Brent Beardall:

disclosures, if you took all of their losses, they were insolvent

Colton Pond:

wow.

Brent Beardall:

and people said, holy crap.

Brent Beardall:

Why would we put more money into a bank that's effectively insolvent,

Brent Beardall:

and then you have the most sophisticated deposit base out there.

Brent Beardall:

One person started calling another, the tweets went out, and all of a sudden the

Brent Beardall:

run

Brent Beardall:

as simple as that.

Brent Beardall:

It was hubris had they just simply said, you know what?

Brent Beardall:

We've got a problem here.

Brent Beardall:

Let's raise more capital.

Brent Beardall:

For general corporate purposes,they would've gone out and raised $3

Brent Beardall:

billion of capital and then waited three weeks, and then they could have

Brent Beardall:

done a balance sheet re restriction.

Brent Beardall:

They would still be here today with one of the best deposit franchises

Brent Beardall:

in the United States of America.

Brent Beardall:

So that is one thing I am constantly trying to remind myself of and of my team.

Brent Beardall:

Let's avoid hubris,

Brent Beardall:

Because you get into these positions, oh my goodness, you're the CEO of A now

Brent Beardall:

a $30 billion financial institution.

Brent Beardall:

And you can do no wrong,

Brent Beardall:

wrong.

Brent Beardall:

B.S.

Brent Beardall:

You can do a lot of wrong and you need to surround yourself with people that

Brent Beardall:

will call you out on it when you do it.

Brent Beardall:

And quite frankly, that's a job of your board of directors,

Brent Beardall:

right?

Brent Beardall:

And that's why you need a board of directors that is willing to say, Hey,

Brent Beardall:

you know what, I, I think this is wrong.

Brent Beardall:

let's have that active discussion in.

Brent Beardall:

By, damn.

Brent Beardall:

If I can't convince you why I think we should do something, then we

Brent Beardall:

probably shouldn't be doing it.

Colton Pond:

I'm curious your perspective as well on.

Colton Pond:

The role that technology has played at Wafd Bank, uh, Wafd or Tedd mentioned

Colton Pond:

that y'all have, uh, really focused, and I've seen this on, on the leap to be more

Colton Pond:

digital centric and be digital first.

Colton Pond:

Um, what role has technology played as far as differentiation and growth?

Colton Pond:

And what role do you feel like technology will play moving forward too?

Brent Beardall:

Banking is one of the very industry interesting

Brent Beardall:

professions that you're really paying it forward, uh, right.

Brent Beardall:

The results we are experiencing today are the results of work that had occurred.

Brent Beardall:

3, 4, 5, 6, 7 years ago,

Brent Beardall:

what we are planting the seeds today that we will harvest, uh,

Brent Beardall:

you know, the, the fruits of that three, four or five years from now.

Brent Beardall:

So it, it is one of those interesting things.

Brent Beardall:

And back when I had the good fortune of taking over as CEO

Brent Beardall:

I said we have this.

Brent Beardall:

Question a choice how right.

Brent Beardall:

We can go for the next 10 years and we can, we can try to spend as little as

Brent Beardall:

possible and just harvest as much as we can out of this stream of revenue that's

Brent Beardall:

coming our way that we'll be dwindling,

Brent Beardall:

: atrophy was happening.

Brent Beardall:

We're losing customers and.

Brent Beardall:

But still could be very, very profitable until it's not.

Brent Beardall:

It's back to that hubris.

Brent Beardall:

No, we, we can't change because what we're doing is working so well

Brent Beardall:

and I, I went to the board and not only did the board agree with me,

Brent Beardall:

they said, Brent, you need to do it faster, you need to aim higher

Brent Beardall:

historically people did business with us for two reasons.

Brent Beardall:

One, a rock solid balance sheet.

Brent Beardall:

That's kind of our DNA.

Brent Beardall:

That's who we are.

Brent Beardall:

We, we don't make, you know, very risky loans from a credit perspective.

Brent Beardall:

And number two, relationships matter.

Brent Beardall:

Customer service.

Brent Beardall:

That's who we are.

Brent Beardall:

It's fact that personalized service, it's fantastic.

Brent Beardall:

And I said, wouldn't it be great

Brent Beardall:

if we could really pair those two attributes, those qualities, those

Brent Beardall:

values with a third, which is technology that makes people go, wow.

Colton Pond:

I love that.

Colton Pond:

: Right.

Colton Pond:

Simple as that.

Colton Pond:

I, I, I don't complicate technology.

Colton Pond:

At the end of the day, what we deliver to our clients needs to wow them.

Colton Pond:

You talk to people that use Amazon, they're like, wow, that was easy.

Colton Pond:

That's pretty cool that Amazon thinks what I might be about

Colton Pond:

to purchase and recommends it.

Colton Pond:

Right?

Colton Pond:

I mean, it's, it's the same thing with Netflix.

Colton Pond:

I said we need to try to do that with banking.

Colton Pond:

And you two both know that's an incredible challenge.

Colton Pond:

An incredible challenge.

Colton Pond:

Let a, let a loan for a regional bank,

Colton Pond:

right?

Colton Pond:

JP Morgan spends $13 billion per year on technology, and quite

Colton Pond:

frankly, they do a pretty good job, but they still have issues.

Colton Pond:

How can a bank our size.

Colton Pond:

We have soon to be 30 billion in assets.

Colton Pond:

How can we find technology that makes people go, wow.

Colton Pond:

And the only way we can do that is we have to be more nimble.

Colton Pond:

We have to be willing to fail.

Colton Pond:

We have to go with FinTech providers.

Colton Pond:

We have to take risks and build stuff ourself.

Colton Pond:

But the fact of the matter is because we are smaller, we can be more nimble and

Colton Pond:

we can get stuff done and our clients will be more patient with us because it

Colton Pond:

turns out there's a fundamental disdain for the largest banks in this country.

Colton Pond:

So there's, there's a reason people want to bank where

Colton Pond:

they can have a relationship.

Colton Pond:

And if you can be in this sweet spot that I say is big enough to be relevant,

Colton Pond:

small enough to be nimble, I think there's a huge opportunity for us.

Tedd Huff:

Well, and, and Brent, one of, one of the favorite stories that

Tedd Huff:

you told me, I think one of the first times that we met was, you know, I asked

Tedd Huff:

about, well, you wanted to be technology first, a digital financial institution.

Tedd Huff:

What did you start with?

Tedd Huff:

And.

Tedd Huff:

And, and your story of paper ledgers com, like some antiquated machines,

Tedd Huff:

all of those different things, it makes me really think you had a lot to

Tedd Huff:

do to get to where you guys are now.

Tedd Huff:

What do you think that they should be focused on first when you're looking

Tedd Huff:

at a technology to, to move, move the financial institution forward?

Brent Beardall:

Yeah.

Brent Beardall:

So, uh, this is act actually something that Brandon and I came up with together.

Brent Beardall:

Uh, for regional banks.

Brent Beardall:

We call it the Path to Freedom.

Brent Beardall:

I.

Brent Beardall:

Right.

Brent Beardall:

Uh, we, we all feel like our, our, our hands are tied, right?

Brent Beardall:

We are just beholden on whatever our provider is, and, well, we can't do that

Brent Beardall:

because they say if we want to implement a CRM, it will take two and a half years

Brent Beardall:

and project management team and so forth.

Brent Beardall:

So it is what it is and just stick with it.

Brent Beardall:

Right?

Brent Beardall:

Again, just, just ride out what's, what's coming in to me,

Brent Beardall:

So the key for midsize banks is finding that path to freedom because

Brent Beardall:

you're never gonna do it all at once.

Brent Beardall:

And that's why everyone is so reticent to change a core 'cause

Brent Beardall:

there's so much risk involved in it.

Brent Beardall:

How can you find a solution where you are no longer dependent on the

Brent Beardall:

core, but you say, you know what, I'm gonna keep everything on the core.

Brent Beardall:

But I'm gonna go with my online banking preference over what you have.

Brent Beardall:

Or I'm gonna go with a different mobile provider, or I'm gonna go, you name

Brent Beardall:

it, a different payments provider.

Brent Beardall:

That, that is what we've been able to do.

Brent Beardall:

Um, Thanks in large part to our, uh, technology partner that's actually

Brent Beardall:

spin off of Wafd called Archway, that has really allowed us this

Brent Beardall:

middleware layer, uh, that connects our core with, uh, external systems.

Brent Beardall:

And to me that would be the key is say, okay, hey.

Brent Beardall:

What is your biggest pain point?

Brent Beardall:

When, when you talk to your clients, what is your biggest pain point?

Brent Beardall:

And simply solve that pain point.

Brent Beardall:

Don't try to boil the ocean, right?

Brent Beardall:

They, everybody can say, okay, you look at everything holistically.

Brent Beardall:

Well, we need to change these 14 systems.

Brent Beardall:

If you need to change 14 systems, kiss it, goodbye, it's over.

Brent Beardall:

Figure out one, figure out a way to be able to change that one system in a

Brent Beardall:

short timeframe, three to four months.

Brent Beardall:

And then tackle the next one.

Brent Beardall:

And then the other thing that's completely counterintuitive of us is bankers and

Brent Beardall:

accountants, because typically there's a really close, close correlation is

Brent Beardall:

we always think, okay, gonna solve this problem, and you name it, I'm gonna solve

Brent Beardall:

this problem with mobile banking, and as soon as I solve this, then I'm gonna

Brent Beardall:

be able to focus on everything else B.S.

Brent Beardall:

It doesn't work that way,

Brent Beardall:

Amazon doesn't launch a product and then set it, then move on to something else.

Brent Beardall:

They launch the product and what do they do?

Brent Beardall:

They listen and then they iterate.

Brent Beardall:

And so that's technology and banking.

Brent Beardall:

Technology in general is a journey with no destination.

Brent Beardall:

today we have, I think, um.

Brent Beardall:

Like 15 different versions of our website, we try to personalize it.

Brent Beardall:

So when, uh, Colton logs on from Utah, there's good, you know,

Brent Beardall:

views of the ski resorts in Utah.

Brent Beardall:

It's not showing 'em the Puget Sound, right?

Brent Beardall:

Or if somebody logs in, in Dallas, Texas, they're not seeing the Seahawks

Brent Beardall:

stadium in the background, right?

Brent Beardall:

You wanna personalize it, right?

Brent Beardall:

And it's simple things like that.

Brent Beardall:

But they matter.

Brent Beardall:

And so historically, we, we said, okay, we're gonna fix something.

Brent Beardall:

We've got it up and running, and you typically get it up and running with the,

Brent Beardall:

you know, minimal viable product, the MVP, and then, okay, move on to something else.

Brent Beardall:

No, as soon as you get it up and running, start fine tuning it, getting it better.

Colton Pond:

I, I love that.

Colton Pond:

So, Brent, you bring up Path to freedom.

Colton Pond:

Path to freedom is a big reason why I'm at Loan Pro is like how to help

Colton Pond:

financial institutions innovate outside of the handcuffs that they're

Colton Pond:

placed within, uh, legacy providers.

Colton Pond:

I would love to dive in and, and understand some of the innovation that

Colton Pond:

you all have done at WaFd recently and the impact that that's had and, and the

Colton Pond:

journey, some of the key wins you've had.

Tedd Huff:

And a lot of the regional banks are trying to figure out how do they,

Tedd Huff:

how do they move with the technology?

Tedd Huff:

How do they move forward and how do they thrive?

Colton Pond:

One of the things I love is like in talking to your team, I've learned

Colton Pond:

a lot in talking to Archway and Pi Pike Street on stuff you've done with voice

Colton Pond:

activated banking and things like that.

Colton Pond:

Give us some insight into.

Colton Pond:

The ideation process, the development process, the the launch process and the

Colton Pond:

impact that those things have for the bank, and then the iteration process.

Brent Beardall:

Yeah.

Brent Beardall:

So it, it, it always starts with a need, right?

Brent Beardall:

What, what was the need?

Brent Beardall:

And, uh, we had a very, like a 20-year-old, uh, call center, uh,

Brent Beardall:

software system, and more and more people are calling in and, right.

Brent Beardall:

You.

Brent Beardall:

Press one.

Brent Beardall:

If you want to deal with your checking account, press two with the same.

Brent Beardall:

And I mean, it was awful.

Brent Beardall:

This voice tree, this voice response unit.

Brent Beardall:

And so we said, okay, h how, how, how do we get with the modern age?

Brent Beardall:

And we had, uh, Dustin Hubbard, our CTO, who's president of Archway, look into it

Brent Beardall:

and he is like, Brent, really the call center should just be online banking.

Brent Beardall:

Right.

Brent Beardall:

I mean, we, it, it really should be a, just a, a different front

Brent Beardall:

end to be able to access it.

Brent Beardall:

one of the very, very cool things of working with Amazon, we have, uh, all

Brent Beardall:

of our cloud infrastructure at Amazon.

Brent Beardall:

One of the cool things I love about Amazon and they say, we

Brent Beardall:

built all this really cool stuff.

Brent Beardall:

Here's your tool chest.

Brent Beardall:

Go for it.

Brent Beardall:

And so we were able to work with them and basically take their Alexa technology

Brent Beardall:

and put that in, uh, online banking so you can now call in with your voice and

Brent Beardall:

it authenticates you using your voice.

Brent Beardall:

And the even better is the security aspect of it, because it has to

Brent Beardall:

be your voice from your phone

Brent Beardall:

we know AI can duplicate your voice,

Brent Beardall:

so

Tedd Huff:

I was about to ask you that

Tedd Huff:

question.

Tedd Huff:

no, so it's, it's very secure.

Tedd Huff:

It's multifactor authentication, but how cool that when it

Tedd Huff:

calls in, it says hybrid.

Tedd Huff:

How can I help you?

Tedd Huff:

Again, that personalization and then it's, I want my checking account.

Brent Beardall:

What are the last three checks I had paid?

Brent Beardall:

What are the last two deposits?

Brent Beardall:

Whatever you want.

Brent Beardall:

Use plain English and tell, and also we don't hide behind.

Brent Beardall:

You can't speak to somebody.

Brent Beardall:

I wanna speak to my banker.

Brent Beardall:

Great.

Brent Beardall:

We will get you to your banker.

Brent Beardall:

We, we want to enable people to be served how they want to be served.

Brent Beardall:

We don't wanna hide behind call trees.

Brent Beardall:

I,

Colton Pond:

One of the things we're talking about in this podcast series

Colton Pond:

is a long personalization and how to drive personalization and lending.

Colton Pond:

That's a killer example and, and one that use technology in your backyard in Seattle

Brent Beardall:

here's the cool thing.

Brent Beardall:

To my knowledge, there is not another bank in the country that has it.

Brent Beardall:

I, I think Schwab does it on their brokerage accounts.

Brent Beardall:

Other than that, nobody else does it.

Brent Beardall:

And I talk to high net worth individuals all the time, We want deposits.

Brent Beardall:

High net worth individuals have a lot of deposits, right?

Brent Beardall:

I said, what?

Brent Beardall:

What can we do?

Brent Beardall:

What is your biggest pain point with banking?

Brent Beardall:

Number one pain point is wire transfers.

Brent Beardall:

So then the next thing I said, okay, let's build out wire

Brent Beardall:

transfers in online banking.

Brent Beardall:

And once you submit your online banking,

Brent Beardall:

Colton is gonna pay, uh, Tedd you know, $5,000.

Brent Beardall:

All of a sudden the system will call him back and says, Colton, we

Brent Beardall:

wanna review this wire transfer.

Brent Beardall:

Please authorize this with your voice, and then your wire transfer is sent.

Brent Beardall:

How stinking cool is that?

Tedd Huff:

That's really

Brent Beardall:

and literally it's a, wow.

Brent Beardall:

I get clients that talk to their friends neighbors about it at cocktail parties.

Brent Beardall:

What,

Tedd Huff:

talking about sending a wire.

Tedd Huff:

That's, that's crazy.

Brent Beardall:

but, why?

Brent Beardall:

Why do they do it?

Brent Beardall:

Because they know it's a pain for everybody.

Tedd Huff:

Yeah.

Tedd Huff:

What are you seeing from, from your bank?

Tedd Huff:

The biggest challenges that are going on in the lending landscape, and how are you

Tedd Huff:

leveraging the technology to combat it?

Brent Beardall:

the biggest challenges we and most everyone

Brent Beardall:

have in lending right now.

Brent Beardall:

Is the lack of availability because repayments have slowed down so much,

Brent Beardall:

a year and a half ago we generated about eight and a half

Brent Beardall:

billion of new loans, right?

Brent Beardall:

So we were on this pace where we can make eight and a half billion each year.

Brent Beardall:

Let's go to 9 billion, let's go to 10 billion and the highest quality

Brent Beardall:

loans, we put the technology in place.

Brent Beardall:

It was really good process.

Brent Beardall:

Then all of a sudden, repayments slowed way down.

Brent Beardall:

Repayments came down like 60, 70%.

Brent Beardall:

'cause it turns out nobody wants to prepay their three and a half percent

Brent Beardall:

mortgage and go get a 7% mortgage.

Brent Beardall:

Imagine that.

Brent Beardall:

So it, it's, it's finding is the biggest challenge right now in

Brent Beardall:

terms of finding the capacity.

Brent Beardall:

One of my personal pet peeves is you go through and put all this information in,

Brent Beardall:

then it finally routes you to somebody 10 minutes later and, well, can I

Brent Beardall:

start with your social security number?

Brent Beardall:

You're like, are you kidding me?

Brent Beardall:

Don't do that to me.

Brent Beardall:

Right.

Brent Beardall:

No.

Brent Beardall:

Everything, it, it goes over, they can see exactly.

Brent Beardall:

They, they pull up a page that shows your last transactions.

Brent Beardall:

It shows where you've logged on from.

Brent Beardall:

It shows how long you've been a customer at ed, what kinda

Brent Beardall:

loans, what kind of deposits.

Brent Beardall:

It's that CRM holistic view.

Brent Beardall:

So we can say, great, Tedd thank you for being a customer with this for 15 years.

Brent Beardall:

I can see you've been having trouble with your online banking.

Brent Beardall:

Is that what this call about?

Brent Beardall:

Right?

Brent Beardall:

It turns out if you actually pay attention to what you know about your customers,

Brent Beardall:

you're gonna create raving fans.

Brent Beardall:

I.

Brent Beardall:

that, that, that's, that's just a temporary problem, right?

Brent Beardall:

Because rates will come down and, and we will start up again.

Brent Beardall:

But in terms of lending technology, it's still never ceases to amaze me

Brent Beardall:

how we treat 20 year clients like they're brand new clients to us.

Brent Beardall:

we have all the information about them,

Brent Beardall:

but you know, Tedd you come in and say, I want, want a new loan with Wafd.

Brent Beardall:

Fantastic.

Brent Beardall:

Here's a fancy, what's essentially a PDF form for you to fill out

Brent Beardall:

to tell us everything you want in the loan in today's day and age.

Brent Beardall:

Are you kidding me?

Brent Beardall:

We need to have the answers to say, that's fantastic, Tedd Here are

Brent Beardall:

the three different loan offers we think will be best for you.

Brent Beardall:

What do you think?

Tedd Huff:

Yeah.

Brent Beardall:

It, it's, it doesn't seem like a lot to ask.

Brent Beardall:

Nobody has it today.

Tedd Huff:

Why do you think that

Brent Beardall:

the the reason for it is the antiquated tech stack

Brent Beardall:

and the silos of information.

Brent Beardall:

Right, Norma,

Brent Beardall:

normally you have an origination system that stands on its own.

Brent Beardall:

You have a servicing system that stands on its own, a core system that

Brent Beardall:

stands on its own, the depository.

Brent Beardall:

Right.

Brent Beardall:

And if you have a financial aggregator that stands by, its you need something to

Brent Beardall:

be able to look across all the different silos and say, this is everything we

Brent Beardall:

know about Tedd It turns out he's an A plus credit risk, whatever he wants.

Brent Beardall:

Let's do.

Tedd Huff:

So it almost sounds like, you know, the, the desire to not have

Tedd Huff:

everything in a single core to be able to give you the flexibility you want

Tedd Huff:

also is one of the things that causes some of the friction for your customers.

Brent Beardall:

I, no, I think historically that's the way it was, but I

Brent Beardall:

think if you can get that out in the cloud and you can access the information in the

Brent Beardall:

different cores and bring it together, I, I, I think you, It lack of flexibility,

Brent Beardall:

the lack of API integration is what's killed the legacy systems, but Right.

Brent Beardall:

I, I don't care if it's in 15 different system, if it's all in

Brent Beardall:

the cloud environment I've built and we can access all that information

Brent Beardall:

and it's not just the information.

Brent Beardall:

That we really, the a plus information about Colton that we wanna know.

Brent Beardall:

We also wanna know how often has he gone to our website,

Brent Beardall:

areas of our website, right?

Brent Beardall:

It turns out if he's looking at the home equity loan, right?

Brent Beardall:

Maybe the next time he comes, we should suggest here's a home

Brent Beardall:

equity loan we have for you.

Brent Beardall:

, oh, by the way, if all of a sudden his purchases at Home Depot have gone up,

Brent Beardall:

you know, to $5,000 every other month.

Brent Beardall:

Well, maybe we look at a, a home improvement loan or

Brent Beardall:

something for 'em, right?

Brent Beardall:

We we're not paying attention to what's happening in different areas of the bank.

Brent Beardall:

That impact we need to look at Colton holistically.

Colton Pond:

So, so I think one of the aspects you're highlighting there is Brent

Colton Pond:

bringing all your data into one spot.

Colton Pond:

And that involves, I love that you highlight like market everything

Colton Pond:

from marketing data to financial transaction data to credit data,

Colton Pond:

all of the data within one spot.

Colton Pond:

Because if you think about banks, uh, banks have the most data about a customer.

Colton Pond:

They have data that even Amazon and Netflix and Walmart

Colton Pond:

want financial data, right?

Colton Pond:

You know, all of their transactions where their, uh, what their spending

Colton Pond:

habits are, all of their data.

Colton Pond:

And there's a lot that you can do with personalizing your approach

Colton Pond:

on lending products to offer.

Colton Pond:

On our side where Loan Pro focuses on how do you service more efficiently,

Colton Pond:

what I'd love to do is dive a little bit deeper into how you all, how the broader

Colton Pond:

challenges in the lending ecosystem influence WaFd's strategic priorities.

Brent Beardall:

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Brent Beardall:

you're gonna get me going on this, Colton, and, and you know this,

Brent Beardall:

know me well enough to know I've got a couple of lending ideas that I

Brent Beardall:

think are 10 and $20 billion ideas.

Brent Beardall:

I,

Brent Beardall:

do.

Brent Beardall:

But we also have to be strategic, right?

Brent Beardall:

As I said, right now, it's a capacity issue, right?

Brent Beardall:

It's, it's a deposit issue.

Brent Beardall:

How, the biggest question, and this is one of the harsh realities for regional banks.

Brent Beardall:

Is the assets will come and go.

Brent Beardall:

The quality matters, but the assets will come and go.

Brent Beardall:

The real differentiator for regional banks is how are you going to fund

Brent Beardall:

those deposit or those assets?

Brent Beardall:

Are you gonna be able to fund those with low cost sticky deposits, or

Brent Beardall:

are you gonna fund those with high cost borrowings or high cost CDs?

Brent Beardall:

So that's the question.

Brent Beardall:

And especially in today's day and age after last spring, everybody is

Brent Beardall:

hyper-focused on deposits, but you never know what's going to happen.

Brent Beardall:

I, I like to tell people all the time.

Brent Beardall:

Things so changed so quickly.

Brent Beardall:

We are so hyper-focused on the now, right?

Brent Beardall:

Everybody's focused on deposits.

Brent Beardall:

Now, I, I take everybody back to remember, March of 2020,

Colton Pond:

oh, everyone was flush with deposits.

Brent Beardall:

well flush with deposits in every single investor conference I

Brent Beardall:

went to every news media interview I had.

Brent Beardall:

Brent, talk to me about your hotel exposure.

Brent Beardall:

I mean, ed, you, you guys have.

Brent Beardall:

Like $900 million of hotel exposure.

Brent Beardall:

Nobody's going to hotels.

Brent Beardall:

I mean, these things, I, I, I fire sell these things, get rid of these things,

Brent Beardall:

and I'm like, pause, take a time out.

Tedd Huff:

Breathe, breathe.

Brent Beardall:

Yeah.

Brent Beardall:

exactly.

Brent Beardall:

The sky is not falling.

Brent Beardall:

a second.

Brent Beardall:

Right In this moment, hotels are bad 'cause nobody's going.

Brent Beardall:

But this moment will pass.

Brent Beardall:

Now fast forward to today.

Brent Beardall:

What's happened?

Brent Beardall:

Hotels are golden because the profitability is through the roof.

Brent Beardall:

They offer less services and they charge you more.

Brent Beardall:

Literally, the average

Colton Pond:

yeah.

Brent Beardall:

is up 25% where it was pre pandemic that we bank.

Brent Beardall:

Right.

Brent Beardall:

So let's, let's not hyperfocus on the, now let's have the longer term approach.

Brent Beardall:

No.

Brent Beardall:

Knowing that cycles will happen.

Brent Beardall:

So I, I'm, I'm excited about, uh, what some of those lending possibilities

Brent Beardall:

can be for us in the future.

Colton Pond:

Yeah.

Colton Pond:

And then I was gonna say, so now you have people and I watch your CNBC article or

Colton Pond:

CN news clip on commercial real estate.

Colton Pond:

You know, people say the world is falling when it comes to commercial real

Colton Pond:

estate, which is not always the case.

Colton Pond:

Uh, you go listen to Brent's uh, uh, uh, recording on CNBC.

Colton Pond:

It was really good.

Brent Beardall:

Yeah, I, I, I, I can't let that go without saying For

Brent Beardall:

people worried about commercial real estate, ask yourself three questions.

Brent Beardall:

What kind of commercial real estate you have to understand the

Brent Beardall:

segments of commercial real estate.

Brent Beardall:

I.

Brent Beardall:

Number two, understand the markets they're in.

Brent Beardall:

Real estate is local.

Brent Beardall:

Are you talking about real estate in downtown Manhattan or are you talking

Brent Beardall:

about real estate in Boise, Idaho?

Brent Beardall:

Very, very different.

Brent Beardall:

And then number three, you have to understand how much

Brent Beardall:

equity the borrower has in it.

Brent Beardall:

If you understand those three characteristics about the commercial

Brent Beardall:

real estate, you can understand pretty well how much credit risk there is.

Tedd Huff:

So when I look at that, it, it all opens up a number of

Tedd Huff:

different opportunities around these different lending servers.

Tedd Huff:

You talk about the.

Tedd Huff:

The sky's following piece of it that we were talking about with the

Tedd Huff:

commercial, commercial real estate.

Tedd Huff:

What other opportunities, or what opportunities are you seeing for lending

Tedd Huff:

services around maybe data analytics, customer service, customization?

Tedd Huff:

How do you make it more efficient?

Tedd Huff:

I know we kind of touched on it, but I'd like to get a little

Tedd Huff:

bit specific in that area.

Brent Beardall:

Yeah, no, there, there's all kinds of opportunities.

Brent Beardall:

Colton mentioned a few, right?

Brent Beardall:

We're likely gonna go through some economic stress, right?

Brent Beardall:

Do not treat everyone the same, understand the fundamentals of what's happening.

Brent Beardall:

And as a banking, banking industry, we are terrible.

Brent Beardall:

We typically force people to make the hardest decisions

Brent Beardall:

in the worst possible time.

Brent Beardall:

What can we do to utilize data, to utilize analytics, to understand what can we do

Brent Beardall:

to give Tedd more time to pay us back?

Brent Beardall:

Because the vast majority of Tedd's in the world, they want to pay you

Colton Pond:

mm-Hmm.

Brent Beardall:

If you give them the option, if you

Brent Beardall:

give them the chance to pay them back.

Brent Beardall:

so many of us as banks, nope.

Brent Beardall:

You signed the paperwork.

Brent Beardall:

Either you pay us back or by, damn.

Brent Beardall:

You're gonna learn the lesson.

Brent Beardall:

I'm gonna foreclose on you,

Brent Beardall:

Stop.

Brent Beardall:

As soon as we foreclosed as a bank, there's another 20 to 30% discount of the

Brent Beardall:

value When somebody sees a bank owns it.

Brent Beardall:

Because they say, oh, I can take advantage of the bank.

Brent Beardall:

What can we do, Tedd to help you get back on your feet?

Brent Beardall:

we take three months of payments and capitalize it and then help you get right?

Brent Beardall:

what are the things we can do to work with you now?

Brent Beardall:

You need to be willing, well, I, I'm not gonna do that for you if I think you're a

Brent Beardall:

strategic falter, but if you're, if you're genuinely having a hard time and you're.

Brent Beardall:

Busting your tail to work through it.

Brent Beardall:

What can we do to help you?

Brent Beardall:

And that's one of the great learnings of the pandemic is banks stopped taking

Brent Beardall:

such a hard line that we took in oh eight and oh nine and we started working

Brent Beardall:

with people and it's one of the reasons things worked out pretty darn well.

Brent Beardall:

so I think we need to build in flexibility in terms of how we service loans.

Brent Beardall:

And it's one of the reasons that Colton and I got to, uh, talk

Brent Beardall:

about Loan Pro is Loan Pro provides that kind of flexibility for you.

Brent Beardall:

So, okay, hey, we understand you don't wanna treat all the clients the same.

Brent Beardall:

Let's give 'em some options and here's what options would look like and here's

Brent Beardall:

what a servicing system that could support those options could look like.

Colton Pond:

Yeah, on, on that note, actually, uh, a few weeks ago

Colton Pond:

I got the, uh, ability to be able to go to one of our customers and

Colton Pond:

watch frontline agent service loans.

Colton Pond:

And one of the examples was someone called in and said, Hey, um, so I just

Colton Pond:

lost my job, but I found a new job and I'm going to, uh, get paid in in a month.

Colton Pond:

I, I know I have a pay payment in two weeks.

Colton Pond:

Can we move that back two weeks?

Colton Pond:

And the servicing agent was like, uh, uh, one second.

Colton Pond:

Let me check.

Colton Pond:

Check the, uh, check the rules.

Colton Pond:

Said, oh, is this within compliance and rules?

Colton Pond:

It was hit done.

Colton Pond:

And said, okay, yeah, that's taken care of.

Colton Pond:

She's like, oh, no.

Colton Pond:

Do you have to go talk to someone?

Colton Pond:

And, and she was like, no, it's already done.

Colton Pond:

You're good.

Colton Pond:

Your payment's now due on the 30th of the month.

Colton Pond:

And delightful experiences like that mean a lot,

Colton Pond:

It turns lending from a transactional for a long time, lending has

Colton Pond:

been a transactional business.

Colton Pond:

It's like, I give you money, you pay me back.

Colton Pond:

If not, I'm gonna take your assets right In the end, what it needs to do.

Colton Pond:

And Wafd has done a really good job here, Brent is turning it

Colton Pond:

into a relationship, right?

Colton Pond:

And it doesn't need to be a transaction.

Colton Pond:

It needs to be a relationship of you and I working together on,

Colton Pond:

on terms that we've agreed to.

Brent Beardall:

No, and that's exactly right.

Brent Beardall:

And, and when you can successfully do that, price doesn't become

Brent Beardall:

the primary differentiator.

Brent Beardall:

Someone will pay a little bit more in price if they

Brent Beardall:

believe the bank has your back.

Brent Beardall:

Uh, that's foundational to what I believe.

Colton Pond:

You talked about this idea of evaluating the market, seeing what pains

Colton Pond:

there are, prioritizing that, going and innovating by having this middleware layer

Colton Pond:

that allows you to actually innovate and not be beholden, the legacy technology.

Colton Pond:

But then one of the biggest things that you talked about that we didn't

Colton Pond:

drill into is this iter of innovation, launching something, testing,

Colton Pond:

finding feedback, doing it again.

Colton Pond:

How do you fix that loop and what does that process look like and how

Colton Pond:

do you make sure that you're getting feedback from customers back and

Colton Pond:

back into the development cycle to constantly improve new products?

Brent Beardall:

That feedback loop is very important.

Brent Beardall:

I, I find that too often we inundate ourself with so much feedback.

Brent Beardall:

We're overwhelmed with it,

Brent Beardall:

I personally hate.

Brent Beardall:

Surveys, Hate surveys.

Brent Beardall:

I, I hate internal surveys.

Brent Beardall:

I hate customer surveys, right?

Brent Beardall:

I mean, it's like banking for a compliment.

Brent Beardall:

Oh, of course.

Brent Beardall:

I'm gonna tell you.

Brent Beardall:

Right?

Brent Beardall:

and be careful.

Brent Beardall:

If you ask for information, they give you information, then

Brent Beardall:

you don't do something with it.

Colton Pond:

You're in trouble.

Brent Beardall:

What you're telling people, you don't care about it.

Brent Beardall:

Right?

Brent Beardall:

It's, it's a waste of time.

Brent Beardall:

My, my next pet peeve is employee evals, right?

Brent Beardall:

Uh, we, we got rid of employee evals at WaFd.

Brent Beardall:

If our employees don't understand how their manager feels about 'em,

Brent Beardall:

that's shame on the manager, right?

Brent Beardall:

Why do something just to do something?

Brent Beardall:

So my point is, how do you get that feedback?

Brent Beardall:

I want it firsthand.

Brent Beardall:

I want our employees to be customers.

Colton Pond:

Hmm.

Brent Beardall:

Say, Hey, you just went and opened an account online.

Brent Beardall:

How was it?

Brent Beardall:

It sucked.

Brent Beardall:

fix it.

Colton Pond:

Yeah.

Brent Beardall:

I, I want to be out talking to our clients.

Brent Beardall:

Okay.

Brent Beardall:

What did you just do with us?

Brent Beardall:

How was it?

Brent Beardall:

And it turns out there is so much information there available to us.

Brent Beardall:

You don't have to run a massive campaign and let's make sure

Brent Beardall:

that it's statistically relevant.

Brent Beardall:

bs I mean, you certainly can do that.

Brent Beardall:

I, I wouldn't, you know, from my perspective, you don't need to, The

Brent Beardall:

information is there staring us at the, in the face if we simply ask the

Brent Beardall:

question of our employees that use it and of our clients that we're listening.

Brent Beardall:

One of the things that turned me on to MX back in the day.

Brent Beardall:

They used to have a team that did nothing but search the Apple store

Brent Beardall:

reviews, and if there were negative reviews, they would say, I'm so sorry.

Brent Beardall:

Hey, we've taken that under advisement.

Brent Beardall:

Then two days later, hey, we launched a new version.

Brent Beardall:

How do you think of it now?

Brent Beardall:

Right.

Brent Beardall:

That's awesome.

Colton Pond:

I love that.

Tedd Huff:

Immediate feedback that.

Tedd Huff:

making it as short as possible and then also just not letting it fall off to

Tedd Huff:

the side is, is really, really huge.

Tedd Huff:

One of the things that Colton brought up that I'd like to kind of understand

Tedd Huff:

is like, how do you prioritize that that feedback as it comes in?

Tedd Huff:

How do you determine like which is the most important to,

Tedd Huff:

to deliver to your customers

Brent Beardall:

Yeah.

Brent Beardall:

And, and quite frankly, that's a job of leadership.

Brent Beardall:

First before you go seek, what else are you gonna do?

Brent Beardall:

You need to get done what's on your plate now, right?

Brent Beardall:

We are notorious of it in banking.

Brent Beardall:

Hey, let, let's, let's start thinking about the next project before we've

Brent Beardall:

even finished the one at hand, right?

Brent Beardall:

And then it turns out the one you have at hand is gonna to be

Brent Beardall:

the minimal viable product and.

Brent Beardall:

Then everybody's right, no, let's, let's set targets.

Brent Beardall:

What are we into?

Brent Beardall:

Once we get there, then let's start something else.

Brent Beardall:

And frankly, what we do is we sit around as a management team and

Brent Beardall:

say, Hey, here's what I'm hearing and seeing from my feedback.

Brent Beardall:

And then we prioritize, okay?

Brent Beardall:

We say, well, this is what we want to do.

Brent Beardall:

it's an iterative process all the time.

Brent Beardall:

Then we communicate that with the board and we say, Hey,

Brent Beardall:

here's, here's our initiatives.

Brent Beardall:

Here's what we're gonna tackle, because you're not gonna boil the ocean, right?

Brent Beardall:

And you, you have to be willing to say, you know what?

Brent Beardall:

fixed asset accounting system sucks, and I don't care.

Brent Beardall:

It's gonna suck forever, and it's okay because that adds no value.

Brent Beardall:

I'm not gonna create raving fans by having a really cool

Brent Beardall:

fixed asset accounting system.

Brent Beardall:

It doesn't matter.

Tedd Huff:

One of the things that, that I, I listened to you go through this

Tedd Huff:

and you talk about the prioritization, you talk about the technology, the

Tedd Huff:

fact that you were thinking so early on about where you were going to

Tedd Huff:

take the bank to be a digital bank.

Tedd Huff:

I'd love for you to pull out your crystal ball or what, whatever you use and,

Tedd Huff:

and kind of enlighten us to what future trends do you see in lending and banking?

Tedd Huff:

Is it ai?

Tedd Huff:

Does that have a potential?

Tedd Huff:

What, what are we gonna be able to do to add some human touch?

Tedd Huff:

What, what are your thoughts for the future of banking and lending?

Brent Beardall:

One of the things that I, I get nervous about, that everybody's

Brent Beardall:

excited about is AI in the, uh, automated adjudication, uh, which obviously

Brent Beardall:

makes all the sense in the world.

Brent Beardall:

Hey, I.

Brent Beardall:

Give me these 52 data points and we're gonna make the best decision possible.

Brent Beardall:

That being said, I proceed with caution.

Brent Beardall:

I think we're all gonna go down that route and we're gonna get

Brent Beardall:

our hands, uh, slapped pretty good by the regulators because Okay.

Brent Beardall:

What data are you using and how are you making sure.

Brent Beardall:

That, that's unbiased data.

Brent Beardall:

Right.

Brent Beardall:

And how does that, uh, you, you look at the desperate impact

Brent Beardall:

of potential data, right?

Brent Beardall:

Just like, Hey, we all use credit scores.

Brent Beardall:

Well, it turns out the credit scores might be biased in one way, shape, or form.

Brent Beardall:

So I, I'm not there will be improvements there, but that,

Brent Beardall:

that's not what I'm betting on.

Brent Beardall:

Uh, I, I really think we need to just look around and say,

Brent Beardall:

okay, what are our bankers doing?

Brent Beardall:

That are just absolute, um, mundane tasks, and how can we automate those tasks?

Brent Beardall:

So how can we empower those bankers to reach out and have

Brent Beardall:

a relationship with Colton?

Brent Beardall:

How can we right, allow them to build those relationships?

Brent Beardall:

Because I do believe that you wanna be a digital first bank.

Brent Beardall:

I think 98% of the banking transactions will be digital.

Brent Beardall:

They'll figure 'em out.

Brent Beardall:

But you differentiate yourself by having a relationship.

Brent Beardall:

Where Tedd you're happy to call, uh, Colton and say, Hey, you know what, I'm,

Brent Beardall:

I'm thinking about selling my business.

Brent Beardall:

What do you think I should do?

Brent Beardall:

Right?

Brent Beardall:

Just having someone you can reach out to and talk to and financial literacy

Brent Beardall:

in the US sucks people are embarrassed.

Brent Beardall:

They're ashamed about it.

Brent Beardall:

Wouldn't it be cruel if they and I, I believe this, deserves a banker.

Brent Beardall:

A banker, they can trust a banker that isn't out to get them into

Brent Beardall:

whatever product they can do so the banker can move their bonus

Brent Beardall:

and earn their bonus and move on.

Brent Beardall:

But a banker that's really looking out for your best interests and they're not

Brent Beardall:

mutually exclusive, you can have both.

Colton Pond:

I, I love that.

Colton Pond:

So in closing, you talked about, hey, balance it.

Colton Pond:

And I always think that this is the right thing and the right message to give.

Colton Pond:

Balance it with compliance.

Colton Pond:

You as a bank can't just like go and just innovate and innovate and innovate

Colton Pond:

and not think about the compliance arm.

Colton Pond:

These two go together.

Colton Pond:

We see a lot of instances in where banks overweight, compliance and

Colton Pond:

underweight innovation and, and somewhere folks have overrated

Colton Pond:

innovation at the expense of compliance.

Colton Pond:

Those two need to

Colton Pond:

work seamlessly together.

Brent Beardall:

What's hard is you, you're, you're trying to

Brent Beardall:

skate to where the puck's going to

Brent Beardall:

Right?

Brent Beardall:

And, and that's, that's hard.

Brent Beardall:

And again, you can't be afraid to fail.

Brent Beardall:

Uh, so, right, that, that's just one area that I'm really nervous about,

Brent Beardall:

we saw some of these lawsuits against Microsoft or their generative AI and

Brent Beardall:

the New York Times, well, wait a second.

Brent Beardall:

You're using our content to create all of this stuff, right?

Brent Beardall:

So there, there's so much yet to play out in, in that space.

Brent Beardall:

So.

Brent Beardall:

It's something I think we just need to be cautious of.

Tedd Huff:

Well, and just the other day there was a.

Tedd Huff:

A letter written by the SEC where they talked about their fear of everything

Tedd Huff:

being AI washed and not being able to understand what it actually

Tedd Huff:

does, what benefit it actually is providing, what is it actually doing?

Tedd Huff:

The whole actual piece is the, is what they kept repeating

Tedd Huff:

over and over and over again.

Tedd Huff:

And I think that's, that's something that no matter what industry you're in, if

Tedd Huff:

you're looking at leveraging any form of.

Tedd Huff:

artificial intelligence, you've, you've got to really understand what is it

Tedd Huff:

doing and how is actually helping?

Brent Beardall:

Yep.

Brent Beardall:

and, and, and what is the data source that using the

Brent Beardall:

maintenance

Tedd Huff:

Oh, that, that's, that's even more important.

Colton Pond:

Yeah.

Tedd Huff:

So I wanna thank you, Brent.

Tedd Huff:

You've, you've been a fabulous guest.

Tedd Huff:

You've brought the passion that is undeniable to, to the discussion.

Tedd Huff:

You know, I really appreciate that.

Tedd Huff:

And the couple things that I took away today was, um, empower your team.

Tedd Huff:

Understand that, that you're gonna have to give up some control to

Tedd Huff:

get that, that movement forward.

Tedd Huff:

Um, I love the piece from you where you were really talking about the transparency

Tedd Huff:

and the honesty when it comes to that.

Tedd Huff:

Uh, a perfect example was when you just recently mentioned the annual review

Tedd Huff:

process has been eliminated, that it gives me chills thinking about that because

Tedd Huff:

that was my most disliked thing to do as a leader and to have as an employee.

Tedd Huff:

That's the worst things that I'd ever had.

Tedd Huff:

But lastly, from?

Tedd Huff:

my perspective, and I'll hand it off to Colton, to kind of

Tedd Huff:

him, to recap his thoughts.

Tedd Huff:

But I love the fact that you're looking at, let's find the technology that

Tedd Huff:

solves the problem so that we can move things forward and delight our customers.

Tedd Huff:

It's not about how can I keep it the least expensive and meet the minimum

Tedd Huff:

viable acceptance of of my, of my base, and that means a lot to me and I

Tedd Huff:

really appreciate hearing you say that.

Brent Beardall:

Thank you.

Colton Pond:

Yeah, Brent, I, I appreciate the time.

Colton Pond:

I love you like a brother, man.

Colton Pond:

Uh, and if I, one aspect that is always so incredible and every time

Colton Pond:

we interact I'm like, man, I come away with a better understanding of this.

Colton Pond:

It's that life is beautiful.

Colton Pond:

It is so beautiful.

Colton Pond:

And the more that.

Colton Pond:

All of members of the leadership team and all of your employees feel that way

Colton Pond:

and are passionate about driving forward outcomes and objectives that help the,

Colton Pond:

the customers that you serve, the better.

Colton Pond:

Um, and I think that's, if, if you were to bundle up the secret sauce

Colton Pond:

of offed, that's a big part of the secret sauce is the team that you

Colton Pond:

built and the culture you built there.

Colton Pond:

Uh, because it, it shows through in all aspects of what y'all do.

Brent Beardall:

Well, well, gentlemen, thank you both for your time.

Brent Beardall:

I've enjoyed the conversation.

Brent Beardall:

Uh, let me just close by saying I'm the luckiest guy in the world.

Brent Beardall:

I, I literally, I, I'll, I'll have that debate with anybody and I think I've,

Brent Beardall:

I've got some pictures that can prove it.

Brent Beardall:

I, I don't, I don't, uh, you know, I shouldn't be here

Brent Beardall:

today, and I'm here today.

Brent Beardall:

I, I wake up and I'm grateful for every day.

Brent Beardall:

life is beautiful.

Brent Beardall:

Uh, even when you ha you've got a crappy day, we're still alive, right?

Brent Beardall:

I perspective is an amazing thing.

Brent Beardall:

I tell people all the time, even if the FDIC showed up tomorrow and said, we're

Brent Beardall:

gonna close down the bank because of X, Y, Z, I would argue with them, I'd tell

Brent Beardall:

'em why they're wrong, because we're one of the strongest banks in the country.

Brent Beardall:

But at the end of the day, I'd hand 'em the keys and say, there you go.

Brent Beardall:

I'm still alive, right?

Brent Beardall:

And, uh, ha having that perspective, uh, is a beautiful perspective.

Brent Beardall:

And it doesn't make you afraid to fail.

Brent Beardall:

Uh, back to your point, Tedd Right?

Brent Beardall:

And we, we have to have that ability, uh, to withstand failure.

Brent Beardall:

And that's, that's how you learn.

Brent Beardall:

That's how you grow.

Brent Beardall:

That's how you get better.

Brent Beardall:

And if, if you want to wow your clients, that means, and occasionally you're gonna.

Brent Beardall:

You're gonna fall flat on your face.

Brent Beardall:

But let me tell you, when you do wow your clients, it is worth every second of it.

Tedd Huff:

Well, and that is another episode of Accrued, a FinTech confidential

Tedd Huff:

series proudly presented by Loan Pro.

Tedd Huff:

Remember, we've, we are launching these every week.

Tedd Huff:

We're bringing on leaders just like Brent to talk about what's going on in

Tedd Huff:

lending, lending, technology, and banking.

Tedd Huff:

As we wrap up today's episode, I've got one last thing for you.

Tedd Huff:

If you're in the trenches fighting fraud and financial crime, you

Tedd Huff:

know it's a complex battlefield.

Tedd Huff:

That's where Hawke's AI tools for real time payment screening, AML,

Tedd Huff:

transaction monitoring, and dynamic customer risk rating come into play.

Tedd Huff:

These aren't just buzzwords, they're game changers designed to make your compliance

Tedd Huff:

more effective and less of a headache.

Tedd Huff:

Imagine slashing through false positives with precision and giving your

Tedd Huff:

compliance strategy the edge it needs.

Tedd Huff:

Head on over to gethawkai.

Tedd Huff:

com to sign up for a demo and discover how their platform can revolutionize

Tedd Huff:

how you fight fraud and financial crime.

Lily:

This has been a production of DD3 Media, with all rights reserved.

Lily:

This is provided for informational purposes only.

Lily:

It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment,

Lily:

financial, or other advice.

Lily:

We strive to provide accurate and up to date information, but will

Lily:

not be responsible for any missing facts or inaccurate information.

Lily:

You comply and understand that you should use any of this

Lily:

information at your own risk.

Lily:

Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile financial assets, so research and

Lily:

make your own financial decisions.

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