Magazine article American Banker

Interest in Affinity Lending Perking Up after Dry Spell

Magazine article American Banker

Interest in Affinity Lending Perking Up after Dry Spell

Article excerpt

Affinity lending alliances are picking up speed, as three developing deals illustrate.

The American Bar Association is looking for a lender to originate home loans for some members.

The bar association's request for proposals went out to more than 10 lenders on Halloween, and the proposals are due back this week.

The affinity lending program will not be geared toward all of the group's 385,000 members, said Paula B. Cleave, director of member benefits. She said the association wanted instead to provide a benefit to its young members and those who work at smaller firms.

"The partner at Baker & McKenzie does not need our help" getting a loan, she said, referring to one of the world's largest law firms.

Ms. Cleave said the program will target about 150,000 of the association' s members.

She said the trade group asked its members in a July survey what benefits they would like, and many indicated financial services.

The group already maintains benefit relationships with, among others, Hertz, UPS, and MCI.

The bar association will choose a lender within a few weeks, Ms. Cleave said. She said she hopes to unveil the program to members by late .spring when they must pay their annual dues.

"We would like to make sure membership is as attractive as possible," she said.

MCI Telecommunications has completed its long search for a home lender to make mortgages for its relocating employees.

This week the Washington, D.C.-based giant selected three lenders to split its account. …

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