Banking and Finance Law Daily Varo Bank gets national bank charter from OCC
Monday, August 3, 2020

Varo Bank gets national bank charter from OCC

By Colleen M. Svelnis, J.D.

Varo Bank has become the first fintech company to receive a national bank charter in the U.S.

Acting Comptroller of the Currency Brian P. Brooks presented Varo Bank its national bank charter, the first ever full-service national bank charter granted to a fintech company. Varo Bank will be the first all-mobile national bank in the history of the United States. The charter will allow Varo Bank, N.A., to offer comprehensive, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation-insured banking services, including include credit cards, loans, and additional savings products.

Varo Money, Inc. was granted its national bank charter from the OCC after a conditional approval from the OCC in September 2018, and regulatory approval from the FDIC and Federal Reserve to open Varo Bank, N.A.

Brooks issued a statement noting that national bank charters have "signified to the world that this bank meets our high standards necessary for it to operate across the country under a single, uniform regulatory framework, subject to a single primary prudential supervisor. National bank charters inspire confidence because they are accompanied by value-added supervision and access to world-class experts." Colin Walsh, founder and CEO of Varo Bank, issued a statement calling the charter "a thrilling milestone for Varo, as the bank charter has been a core part of Varo’s disruptive vision from the very beginning." Varo Bank intends to combine a traditional retail banking approach with modern technology, proposing to offer banking products through mobile, online, and phone-based banking channels, and to include traditional loan and deposit products. Varo Bank, N.A., will be located in Draper, Utah, but will have no branches, deposit-taking ATMs, or offices open to the public.

The OCC announced in July 2018 that it will begin accepting applications for national bank charters from non-depository financial technology companies engaged in the business of banking (see Banking and Finance Law Daily, Sept. 21, 2018).

Companies: Varo Bank, N.A.; Varo Money, Inc.

MainStory: TopStory BankingOperations DepositInsurance FinTech UtahNews

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