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SBTPG Secures Settlement Product Funding

Adam Rust's picture

Posted December 9, 2010

Santa Barbara Tax Products Group (SBTPG) has announced that it will partner with a subsidiary of University Bank to provide refund transfers for the upcoming tax season.

University National Bank's Chief Operating Officer indicated that they had signed a multi-year agreement with SBTPG. University can elect to terminate the contract under certain situations, including if the partnership encounters issues with honoring consumer protections.

Although the announcement was published on a tax prep website two weeks ago, the news hit the marketplace today when JTX published an 8-K. Shares in Jackson Hewitt, which will be able to tap

its relationship with SBTPG to offer refund transfers at its stores, jumped 30 percent before noon. Jackson Hewitt says that it now has enough RT funding in place to satisfy all of the demand at its stores. This may be the event that settles any doubt over the near-term future of Jackson Hewitt.

SBTPG has partnered with Jackson Hewitt. JTX has an agreement in place with Republic Bank of Kentucky that will provide the tax preparer with refund loans in some of its stores. SBTPG works with independent tax preparers as well. University/Sunrise says it expects that their partnership will provide refund transfers to approximately 25,000 EROs.

University National Bank is a subsidiary of Minneapolis-St. Paul CDFI Sunrise Community Banks. The FDIC says thatUniversity Financial Corp., the bank holding company doing business as Sunrise Community Banks, had $499 million in deposits and $598 million in assets on Sept. 30th.

Sunrise will route refund transfers to consumers through ACH's and paper checks. They believe that "98 percent" of their customers will be unbanked, and so they expect that ACH's will be relatively rare.  Another possibility is that the RT's will be deposited on debit cards provided by tax preparers. Last season, Jackson Hewitt's i-power card was issued by MetaBank.

SBTPG's CEO Rich Turner announced the new relationship, saying that "the transition will be seamless, and you will experience no disruption in service."

University National Bank operates its Socially Responsible Deposit Fund to catalyze investments in

distressed communities. Its website features efforts to provide Minnesota communities with playgrounds and housing. It adds testimonials from customers that say they value a chance to give back. The bank has worked with students at Macalester College to help local food pantries.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is the primary regulator of University Bank. It's deposits are insured by the FDIC and the Transaction Account Guarantee Program.

University Bank, NA and Sunrise Bank were recently in the news because of the Kardashian Kard (sp). The KK is no longer available.