Innovation is a hallmark of the American Dream and I take great pride playing a small, but important role in helping drive that creativity. To deliver the next big idea, companies in our home market of Silicon Valley must continue attracting creative genius to their organizations, and the next great engineer or scientist that calls our community home could come from anywhere in the world.
Silicon Valley is America’s high-tech hub for innovation, research and development. Global firms like Google, Genentech, Facebook and others are constantly recruiting talent from abroad. All too often, however, these highly sought out inventors can’t say yes to the job because a big bank has said no to their home mortgage application.
A local biotech firm was courting an eminent scientist from Switzerland who wanted to join the company and move his entire family to California. Since he wasn’t a U.S. citizen, he didn’t have a social security number, a record of earning a living in America, or a credit score. The big banks looked no further and denied his mortgage application. That’s bad for the company, our marketplace and hurts America’s ability to be an innovative leader in the global economy.
Our credit union approved the loan to the scientist because sometimes you need to ignore rigid mortgage formulas and create different, yet conservative ways for great thinkers to make their home in America. We’re playing a special part in helping America grow its knowledge-based economy by lending to a segment of the population that is overlooked by large banks.
People come from all over the world to experience the American Dream. It may be to develop that next great idea, own a home with a white picket fence – or both, if we have anything to do with it.
Joan Opp, President and CEO
Stanford Federal Credit Union