In May, SoFi CEO Michael Cagney told TechCrunch the company would be applying for a bank charter “in the next month.” Well, it’s about a month later, and — surprise! — the company has actually done so.
On June 6, SoFi applied for a de novo (or “new”) bank charter, according to a filing notice on the FDIC website. There will be an open comment period on the application for the next month, which will close July 6.
For SoFi, it makes sense to add banking services like deposits, checking and savings accounts to its existing loan and wealth management products. While the company started out offering student loan financing to so-called HENRYs (high earners, not rich yet), it’s been gradually expanding its product offerings to claw deeper into customers’ financial lives.
Still, the company has a long way to go if it’s actually going to become a bank, and it’s facing an uphill battle. That’s because there haven’t been any new industrial loan company (ILC) charters approved in about a decade.