In the age of innovation, it is now more important than ever to find technology solutions at every financial level.  David Reiling, CEO of Sunrise Bank, explains how they built a strategy on inclusivity and underserved populations, where customer driven innovation powered their rapid growth and when the community succeeds, banking succeeds.
David Reiling:
David Reiling is a social entrepreneur, who is an innovator in community development finance and financial inclusion. He is the Chief Executive Officer of Sunrise Banks and has been in the community development banking industry for more than 25 years. Under David’s leadership, Sunrise Banks became the first Minnesota bank certified as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), a certified B-Corp, a legal Benefit Corporation, and a member of the Global Alliance of Banking on Values.
Sunrise has grown its assets and social and environmental impact tenfold since David’s arrival in 1995. Sunrise’s total assets exceed $1.4 billion and is ranked by B Lab as one of the best banks in the world for positive social and environmental impact. Sunrise executes a two-fold strategy under one mission: to be The Most Innovative Bank Empowering Financial Wellness. As a place-based community development bank, it serves the urban core of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota. As a people-focused financial institution, Sunrise partners with values-aligned financial technology firms to provide better access to convenient, easy-to-use, and fairly-priced financial services globally.
Colleagues call David creative, entrepreneurial, and innovative. Employees say he walks the talk of a values-driven leader. His love for travel blends naturally into his work as he gains lessons from the road to inspire his team and position the enterprise to thrive and relentlessly cultivate innovative ideas. Today, you can find David engaged with the cutting edge of fintech, financial wellness, and responsible innovation.
David is currently a board member of the Entrepreneur’s Organization of Minnesota and the Community Development Bankers Association. He is immediate past-Chair of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Community Bank Advisory Board. David has been recognized by Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal as a Most Admired CEO and by Ernst & Young as Entrepreneur of the Year. Trust Across America named him Most Trusted CEO for five years running and recently gave him their Lifetime Achievement Award.
David is a graduate of the University of San Diego and the University of Wisconsin Graduate School of Banking. He is an avid surfer, bicyclist, and traveler. David and his wife live in Minneapolis and enjoy watching their three children forge their own paths.
Produced by Natalie Robson, Producer, Provoke.fm
United States


00:00:00over 60 billion venture-capital dollars poured into fintech in The Last 5 Years close to trillion dollars was Best Buy in comments that same time frame infographics show finacial Services has been unbundled disrupted and disintermediated at the same times other headlines Scream the fintech bubble is brushed and we're returning to reality destruction is real just Russian is Hard fintech 5 Racer the signal-to-noise with five questions answered by the revolutionaries changing the world hear their stories understand their why sure in the Triumph of change and the agony of inertia this is the Fantastic Five
00:00:38welcome back to the pin deck 5 I'm pleased to have David Riley CEO of Sunrise Bank a family-owned Bank in the Twin Cities that lie where I hail from it excited to talk about somebody it's very near and dear to my heart not just intubation but this idea of social responsibility and what's interesting about Sunrise it's a certified B Corp and his Estate admission of being a meeting innovator in financial services that strives for financial inclusion did welcome to the show and I'd love for you to start us off by telling us more about inclusion Innovation became so Central to Sun rises strategy well thank you Jason and it's great to be on your show and sunrise really grew out of the theory of working in a low-income Community here in St Paul primarily working with mung individuals immigrants and it was our way of just integrating into the community and continue listening to what that crew
00:01:38immigrants needed as far as Financial Services were concerned and it was the mission if you will out of the only way that the bank is going to succeed as if the community succeed and so with that we just kept listening and tweaking our products and services looking for different partners to share risk as a result of that a reputation grew within the monk community and we just continue to grow the bank that let us to kind of the broader initiative of working at low and moderate-income communities throughout the Twin Cities area both in St Paul and Minneapolis which ultimately lettuce into the innovation in the leveraging of technology to do Financial inclusion and financial Wellness on a national and even that partly a global basis
00:02:25fascinating to think of the populations you started with are probably not the same types of people that are working within the Banks Show probably had to develop some real new muscles around being customer-centric and customer-driven in your development you tell us more about how the back approach that how you broadly approach innovation
00:02:43yeah it's not very scientific in for me I would consider myself very much and entrepreneur and it's trial and error and fail forward and try to fail as fast as you can and don't bet the farm and it really started with a very simple Innovation which would be if you really want to thank an immigrant group like the Hmong which are Southeast Asians and lotions why don't you hire some of them and try to learn their culture integrated into your bank and try to be sensitive to their needs and make it a nice place for them to come in and for people that they recognized in a language they recognized in the culture that's respected and so it's just that little bit of kind of sharing of yourself and being open and vulnerable was kind of that first part of the Innovation that really kind of led to hey
00:03:34where the bank don't really know all the answers to what their financial needs are so let's listen to them and let's not presume we know what they're looking for we haven't walked in there moccasins if you will and so we learned a lot about them we taught them a lot about kind of how to navigate through the financial services in the regulations of banking and from there it's a little bit of a Coke creation process so taking what they're looking for and how we can Morphin in some cases move around or the right way around regulations and compliance so we can make products and services more accessible and convenient as well as easier to use and I wouldn't say it a below-market-rate but I just a fair market rates and as a result that trust with customers and clients just continue to grow I'm not only in the monk Community but in the general Twin Cities area
00:04:34little bit on the Anthropologist side or you happen to have resided Minneapolis-Saint Paul the Hmong or a mountain people from Vietnam and show if I think of two populations that are you know pretty different and distinct from each other the Swedish Norwegian roots of the Minneapolis-Saint Paul contrasted with the place you're absolutely right and I'll give you one quick story that we have one commercial lender who actually was in Vietnam and walk the Ho Chi Minh trail as a soldier and he had pictures of it and so he was probably one of our more successful commercial lenders cuz he walked the same path they did when they were flying out of the house and into Thailand and Cambodia walk to the several miles is it in their footsteps is Fantastic Four word can you give us an example of
00:05:34I'm one of the learning set came out of that yeah definitely I can figure out why people were using Check Cashers as opposed to coming into the bank and in my way I got in my car I drove around I figured out that there were five Check Cashers within A6 block location to the bank I cashed a few checks I figured out which was the smallest in a couple of months I made a proposal to buy them it was not a very big price at all end up buying him I brought the Check Casher into the lobby of the bank on the teller line I cut the season have literally pull up a chair and talk to everybody who came in and I started to figure out what they were looking for so these are folks in some cases they had bank accounts but in most they didn't in the reason why and I can tell you that for my Banks perspective we were horrible Check Cashers we were slow and inefficient a Check Casher kind of door
00:06:34stories about 40 seconds you know we would take 5 minutes or 4 minutes and 40 seconds and so we just didn't have the model that was conducive to the access and convenience but they really were looking for we were not open late and so forth and so but it was that kind of failure of check cashing which we really learned a lot about the onion under bank and particularly it lettuce into kind of a space of leveraging Technology afraid of electronic benefit card food stamps if you will allow me to access County and state benefits and so we figured out that if we could leverage that technology we could Bank a consumer that was a low balance High transaction consumer and doing the sustainable way and it was really from there that it took off and
00:07:30confess 40 today we're probably in the top 7 prepaid card issuers in the country in terms of volume and a lot of those are geared towards on and underbanked individuals that said fantastic taking a failure you're being humble enough to recognize we don't do it well you learned it from the data by talking to the customers and then you turn it into strength could you talk to me be a little bit more about where do you see the role of technology in this mission of inclusion
00:08:03yeah I see it as a real Advantage I mean I think from an entrepreneurial mindset it really gives us an opportunity to partner with financial technology companies and look for solutions for different segments of the market that have been underserved if you will and in that space I would say we could you put a financial Wellness head on in and look at it from a lens of is there a way that either we can directly or through financial technology Partners in order to applied better greater access to financial services better or easier convenience can we make products Financial products easier to use meaning are they design in such a way that people can intuitively get them that maybe the financial education is almost in bedded in that in that product itself so they can understand how it uses its very true
00:09:03parents so that use abuse becomes a real winner in that space and we can deliver all those at a fair price point as a result of leveraging the technology in the scale that comes with it
00:09:19cute long nose line skip to the rapid fire portion here what do you think is the most overhyped part of this fintech revolution right now what technology are you sick of hearing about it because you think it is just not going to pan out
00:09:33you know probably the one constantly here kind of lending schemes left and right and left and right about you know how many Facebook likes you have in this and that you know that's kind of Olden in begotten
00:09:49you know the other one I would say there seems to be
00:09:54whole lot of hype around cryptocurrency I don't think that was going to go away I just don't think it's make sure yet but it's it's on a past and it's just has to take its time and continue to learn and adapt and you know find its finest Road.
00:10:16You know I would say the most unappreciative part about the tech Revolution would be
00:10:23all this is super nerdy I really think that the design of products in the ability to bacon the Regulatory Compliance in the product so the fact is we can comply with empty zillion different bank regulations from cyber-security the bank secrecy act and anti-money laundering to finding out you know we know who you are being able to do that in so many different forms these days is a real key to unlocking I would consider Financial inclusion because it's I know it's you and I can verify that you have good funds man I can almost bank or serve you no matter where you are any time of day in a very compliance Safeway
00:11:07listen I think most of our listeners tend to be on the nerdy side in my wife lobbies all the time that the reason we were invited invited to show few dinner parties anymore as I get too excited to talk about the intersection of regulation in Innovation just a wrap it up give us two to three sentences on your show box right now personal soapbox David reiling Sunrise bag what is it you believe in
00:11:34so my soapbox will be this banking is being completely disrupted from the front stage to the backstage in terms of it looks like Blockbuster Video and Netflix and so whether it's nude products and services in a centech whether it's Bank Tack and automation or regtech in terms of how these products are compliant I think compliance itself not just the cost but the expertise to deal with it's going to be huge differentiator and what banks are here today and stay in and are successful and I would say in my soapbox the thing that depresses me the most about smaller or Community Bank is the board and management we have a phrase called stale mail and pale it just the old white men just can't rule their inability to change is going to be the detriment of of Community Banks and that inability in the lack of accepting technology and the digital Revolution that were in
00:12:34I will be down for thank you for being part of the show

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