SAN FRANCISCO, July 27, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Blend (NYSE: BLND), a leader in cloud banking solutions, today announced the launch of Blend Impact, a program focused on increasing access and equity in housing and financial services. The program brings together Blend's non-profit, industry, and community ecosystem partners to help drive equitable outcomes in access, sustainability, and social good.
"Blend's mission is to expand access to the world's financial resources, and we are committed to creating a more inclusive financial services ecosystem for everyone," said Nima Ghamsari, co-founder and head of Blend. "Historically, access to financial services and opportunities for transferable wealth have not been equally available to all. We have designed the Blend Impact program to enable our teams to drive meaningful change in the industry to address these systemic flaws and build better lives for those in the communities we serve."
The initiatives that are part of the Blend Impact launch include:
- Equitable Ecosystem Initiative (EEI): Together with its customers and partners, including DHI Mortgage, Blend has established an initiative focused on building technology that enables financial inclusion and economic opportunity, exploring homebuyer education, additional language support, and alternative data sources for credit underwriting as potential areas of work with partners and customers.
"DHI Mortgage continues to focus on making homeownership accessible for all and we are proud to partner with Blend in the Equitable Ecosystem Initiative (EEI)," said DHI Mortgage President and CEO Sonya Luechauer, "We are excited about the opportunity to collaborate with Blend and others in the EEI to improve lending solutions for minority homebuyers."
Over the course of the pandemic, Blend has allocated over $450,000 to groups that work to address socio-economic, systemic, and social issues throughout the United States. Some of this money was donated to organizations and nonprofits including the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, National Alliance to End Homelessness, National Urban League, Asian Pacific Fund, Asian American Legal Defense & Education Fund, and Indian Red Cross. Blend also helps fund organizations affecting change for the underbanked through partnerships with the National Bankers Association (NBA), HomeFree USA, and TechEquity Collaborative.
As a part of this initiative, Blend has offered access to its platform technology to Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs) and Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) at no cost.
"We are proud to be a partner of Blend Impact and provide our member banks an opportunity to increase their capital through new technology," said Nicole Elam, president and CEO of the National Bankers Association. "We know that marginalized communities have a better opportunity at economic equality when supporting the institutions that support them."
Blend has also deposited $5M into a bank with a plan to invest all interest on the money into the bank's MDI Initiative, directly benefiting an MDI the bank has partnered with.
- Blend Gives Back: Alongside Blend's commitment to building equitable products, we encourage employees to support causes of their choice by offering 24 hours of paid time off for participating in volunteer programs within their communities. In addition, this program will allocate a day of service each year for volunteering time towards a designated cause across the company. Blend's focus for 2021 is on causes rooted in ending homelessness and its day of service was conducted in June with employees volunteering across food banks and non-profit organizations focused on ending homelessness.
- Pledge 1%: In May 2021, Blend joined more than 1,500 other companies in pledging one percent of product development and employee time toward supporting the Equitable Ecosystem Initiative. This commitment helps shape Blend's thinking around environmental, social, and governance activities and initiatives.
In addition to these initiatives, Blend Impact activities also include commitments to supplier diversity, in-kind event sponsorships, corporate philanthropy, and regulatory engagement, among others. Blend will continue to examine other areas where it can drive specific and effective changes to increase access to housing and financial services, specifically in the areas of corporate governance and environmental impact.
Blend's cloud banking platform is designed to power the end-to-end consumer journey for any banking product from application to close. Our technology is used by Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank, and over 290 other financial services firms to acquire more customers, increase productivity, and deepen relationships. Through our software, we enable our customers to process an average of more than $5 billion in loans per day, helping consumers get into homes and gain access to the capital they need to lead better lives. To learn more, visit blend.com.