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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