Referral Program Never Took Off
Launched in 2006, the MicroBilt Financial Business Loan program offered SBA loans from CIT's small business lending division and equipment financing options through CIT Office & Technology Finance, a unit of CIT Vendor Finance. The goal was to provide an entry for credit unions to enter the business lending market that did not have the resources for staff and other expenses. MicroBilt's credit union clients had access to its business loan services through an online platform.
"We thought it would be a natural fit. We didn't get a whole lot of interest in the program," said Brian Bradley, executive vice president of strategy and marketing at MicroBilt, a risk management solution provider based in Kennesaw, Ga.
MicroBilt referred a few customers to CIT for SBA loans and equipment leases but it was not enough to sustain the referral program, which ceased operating at the end of 2008, Bradley said. The two firms did not renew the agreement and parted on good terms, he noted.
MicroBilt hoped to build a referral program for some of its smaller credit union customers, which it provided credit and data collections for. Much of the business came from one of MicroBilt's private-label clients.
"We've been in business for nearly 31 years and we've served credit unions during that time," Bradley said. "The program just wasn't lucrative enough for credit unions or MicroBilt. Because there wasn't enough business, it kind of petered out."
CIT did not respond to calls for comment.