It all started when a Dallas-Fort Worth resident mentioned in a tweet to Mark Cuban that her hairdresser received a Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP) loan from Vista Bank.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has a large following on Twitter, and Vista Bank was one of his Twitter followers. As a member of President Trump’s advisory council on opening the economy, Mr. Cuban also had a vested interest in making sure small businesses were able to survive the coronavirus pandemic.
When Mr. Cuban tweeted his followers for feedback on the PPP program, he heard from a woman who said her hairdresser had gone to Vista Bank, submitted her application on a Monday and had been approved by Tuesday. “She said smaller banks cared,” the woman tweeted about her hairdresser’s experience.
The tweet would provide unexpected opportunity for the $905 million Dallas-based Vista Bank, which in the past had sporadically retweeted and replied to some of Mark Cuban’s tweets.
Mr. Cuban replied to her tweet and asked for more information.
The bank was paying attention and answered Mr. Cuban, telling him how it had processed 700 PPP loans in the program’s second round with the help of loan officers pulling all-nighters to make it happen.
What occurred next was something straight from a marketing executive’s wildest dream: On May 1, Mr. Cuban referred his 7.9 million followers to two community banks to get help to keep their doors open and their employees paid: one bank was in Oklahoma. The other was Vista Bank. And then on May 4, he did it again, referring a small business owner to the bank for a possible PPP loan.
Vista Bank, through a subgroup of its pandemic readiness committee, began preparing for the PPP as soon as it heard about it, said John Steinmetz, president and CEO of Vista Bank.
“That paid dividends when the program was ultimately funded, and we were able to get out of the gates quickly,” he said.
Vista Bank initially processed loans manually but within a week, it partnered with a Dallas-based company that provided technology to process loans more quickly, enabling Vista to help more customers.
“I could not be more proud of our team and the way they engaged our technology provider. Working together, they created a process that ensured our clients, new and old, were successful in getting their PPP loans funded quickly,” Mr. Steinmetz said.
“It really forced our marketing, technology, deposit and lending teams to work together, allowing us to process more loans in a month than we did last year.”