Promontory Launches Online Marketplace for Bank Assets
- Feb 05, 2013
By Scott Baltic, Contributing Editor
Promontory Interfinancial Network of Arlington, Va. launched yesterday Bank Assetpoint (www.bankassetpoint.com), a nationwide online marketplace that aims to connect banks and other parties looking to buy or sell unwanted bank assets, including bank-owned commercial real estate.
Participants already listed on the site, which is currently in beta, include First Financial Network, CBRE, Colliers International, Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, Berkadia, Cassidy Turley, Sperry Van Ness and Transwestern.
Bankers, brokers and other entities can use Bank Assetpoint to post or search listings for a wide range of bank assets, according to Promontory, including performing or distressed CRE, performing and nonperforming loans, and loan participations.
In addition, banks can use the marketplace to find service providers to help them with asset appraisals, due diligence and similar services. And through an online community, Bank Assetpoint lets banks search for brokers and loan sale advisors based on specific search criteria, such as asset type, price, location and expertise.
Bank Assetpoint also includes a virtual data room that allows sellers or their brokers to post and control access to confidential content for use by buyers in performing due diligence.
“Banks face a significant challenge today, owning nearly half a trillion dollars in unwanted assets, such as commercial real estate and nonperforming loans,” Mark P. Jacobsen, Promontory’s president and CEO, said in a press release. To help banks and their brokers dispose of these assets, he added, Bank Assetpoint has waived most posting fees through the end of 2013 and all posting fees for assets originated before 2009.
“We’ve been working on this for probably over two years,” Richard Walter, senior managing director at Promontory, told Commercial Property Executive. He said that focus groups with some of Promontory’s 3,000 member banks revealed that they needed a more efficient way to sell off unwanted assets, including distressed CRE, and that they were often dissatisfied with the prices they were getting for their assets.
“Pretty much any loan category works” for the site, including performing, nonperforming, sub-performing and modified, said Walter, who was president of Faris Lee Investments, Irvine, Calif., for 12 years.
The site will be adding functionality about every two to three weeks, he said, based mostly on input from participants, and it will be probably four to six months until the final form is reached.
There is no subscription fee to use Bank Assetpoint, Walter said, and even when posting fees are charged, starting in 2014, CRE postings will be a nominal $40 each. The site is expected to be revenue-generating “down the road,” he said. “Promontory is a long-term player. This is a long-term play.”
Walter also added that while the site’s goal is to connect sellers with buyers and/or with those who can help them sell assets, the transactions themselves won’t be happening at the site.
Finally, he pointed out that the site is also intended for buyers of loans who are looking to diversify their portfolios without having to add in-house origination staff. “The real goal here is to encourage the buyers,” he said. “It’s pretty fragmented out there today. We’re just trying to add some efficiency.”