Hubris Kills Banks

The Critical balance between Ambition and Humility in Banking Success

Accrued, is a Fintech Confidential Series on LendTech, sponsored by LoanPro

This series will explore Fintech through the lens of Lending with conversations with those making decisions that shape the market.

We will cover the impact of Compliance, Optimization, the need for modernization, and the growing demand for Personalization


In Episode Three of 'Accrued: The FinTech Confidential Series' presented by LoanPro, host Tedd Huff and co-host Colton Pond engage with Brent Beardall, the President and CEO of WaFd Bank. Brent shares his journey of resilience and its impact on his leadership, emphasizing the importance of passion and making a difference. He discusses the transformation of WaFd Bank into a digital-first institution and the pivotal role of technology in maintaining relevance as a regional bank. The conversation delves into the challenges and opportunities in the lending landscape, highlighting the need for a holistic approach to banking, the significance of personalizing lending products, and the strategic importance of deposits. Brent also explores the potential of technology to enhance customer relationships and drive continuous improvement.

Key Highlights:

  • Leadership and Resilience: Brent's personal journey of resilience has profoundly shaped his leadership style, emphasizing passion and the desire to make a difference.

  • Digital Transformation: The transition of WaFd Bank into a digital-first bank underlines the critical role of technology in staying competitive and relevant.

  • Holistic Banking Approach: Emphasizing a comprehensive view of banking that integrates various aspects impacting lending, including a focus on personalized lending products.

  • Strategic Prioritization: The importance of effective prioritization, understanding the significance of deposits, and addressing strategic challenges in banking.

  • Commercial Real Estate Insights: Insights into the commercial real estate sector, assessing credit risk, and understanding different market segments.

  • Innovation in Lending: Opportunities for innovation in lending services, leveraging data analytics, and enhancing customer service.

  • Customer Feedback: The value of gathering and acting on customer feedback to drive continuous improvement in banking services.

  • Future of Banking and Lending: Brent's perspective on the future, including the potential risks and benefits of artificial intelligence in the banking sector


  • Adopt a holistic approach to banking, considering all aspects that impact lending.

  • Personalize lending products and services using data to meet customer needs effectively.

  • Prioritize strategic challenges and understand the critical role of deposits in banking.

  • Gain insights into commercial real estate to navigate credit risks and market dynamics.

  • Embrace innovation in lending services, focusing on problem-solving and enhancing customer relationships.

  • Collect and utilize customer feedback to drive continuous improvement and adapt to changing needs.

  • Balance innovation with compliance and be cautious about the evolving role of artificial intelligence in banking.

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WaFd Bank

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Brent Beardall

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LoanPro - As default rates continue to rise and margins compress in lending, financial organizations are searching for solutions that combine operational efficiency with innovation. Look no further, as LoanPro allows lenders to enhance their origination, servicing, collections, and payments using the foundation of a modern lending core. Check out to learn how 600+ financial organizations have modernized their tech stack with LoanPro.

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Time Stamps:

00:00 Introduction

01:23 Brent Beardall's Leadership Journey

04:52 Brent's Personal Tragedy and Resilience

07:48 Lessons Learned from Personal Tragedy

09:39 Passion and Making a Difference

11:03 Creating a Culture of Caring

12:45 Brent's Leadership Style

15:10 Transforming Wafed Bank into a Digital-First Bank

17:13 Empowering Team Members

17:59 Staying Relevant as a Regional Bank

18:38 Avoiding Hubris in Banking

23:23 Leveraging Technology for Differentiation and Growth

28:06 Prioritizing Technology in Financial Institutions

33:33 Innovation at Wafed Bank

38:28 Challenges in the Lending Landscape

40:43 The Role of Technology in Lending

41:55 Taking a Holistic Approach to Banking

42:35 Personalizing Lending Products

43:27 Prioritizing Strategic Challenges

44:20 The Importance of Deposits

45:45 Understanding Commercial Real Estate

47:09 Opportunities in Lending Services

47:37 Flexibility in Loan Servicing

49:13 Gathering Feedback from Customers

51:23 Prioritizing and Acting on Feedback

55:46 The Future of Banking and Lending

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This is a Production of Diamond D3, Media

ABOUT The Guest:

Brent Beardall is the President & Chief Executive Officer of WaFd Bank, a national bank headquartered in Seattle, Washington (NASDAQ: WAFD). WaFd Bank is the largest bank headquartered in Washington State with over $22 billion in assets and 215 offices located in eight western states. In 2021 WaFd Bank was recognized as the best bank in four of its eight states (Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and New Mexico) by Newsweek. Mr. Beardall joined WaFd Bank in 2001 as Vice President & Controller. In 2003 he was promoted to Chief Financial Officer, a position he served in for eleven years. Prior to this he served as Chief Banking Officer where he was responsible for all client-facing activities of the bank. He was awarded the title of President & CEO in 2017, becoming only the sixth CEO in the bank’s 104-year history. In 2018 WaFd undertook a bold initiative “Vision 2025” to transform into a “digital first bank,” with the vision of having a real time understanding of clients’ financial health, anticipating their needs, and helping them make better financial decisions. His simple ask of all employees is to “love what they do and make a difference.” Mr. Beardall received a master’s degree in Professional Accounting from Brigham Young University and is a licensed Certified Public Accountant in Washington State.  He completed Stanford University’s Executive Program in August 2013. In 2012 he was recognized as “CFO of the year” by the Puget Sound Business Journal and currently serves on the boards of the YMCA of Greater Seattle, United Way King County, Pacific Coast Banking School, and the Washington Bankers Association.

About the Hosts:

Tedd Huff is the Co-Founder of Voalyre and the President & Founder of Diamond D3, a consultancy renowned for its expertise in global payments and marketing. With over two decades of experience in FinTech, Huff has played a pivotal role in shaping the industry through his contributions to various startups and established companies, focusing on growth, innovation, process improvements, and enhancing user experience in the complexity of payments.

Colton Pond is a seasoned marketing executive with a strong fintech and financial services background. In his latest role, Colton is the CMO for LoanPro's API-first lending platform, aiming to meet the increasing market demands. His track record includes a significant tenure at Truv, where he led the marketing team to achieve a 300% growth in year-over-year revenue. Colton has also held key marketing and sales positions at MX, Lucid, and HealthEquity, demonstrating his ability to drive success and innovation within the fintech sector.

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