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美国网贷平台SoFi计划下个月申请银行执照

5月11日消息,美国在线借贷平台SoFi首席执行官Mike Cagney表示,公司计划6月申请银行执照。据悉,若此次银行执照申请成功,SoFi将成为美国近十年来第一个获准的工业贷款公司。

此前,SoFi已在银行领域有所布局。

今年2月,有消息称SoFi正积极收购移动银行创企Zenbanx。虽然双方并未对外透露具体收购金额,但行业人士预测本次收购总价值应该会达到1亿美元。收购完成后,SoFi公司将可以为用户提供现金账户、信用卡和国际转账服务。

公开信息显示,Zenbanx是由INGDirect前任首席执行官ArkadiKuhlmann于2012年创立。用户可利用Zenbanx移动账户进行储蓄、汇款和消费,服务涵盖多个货币品种和国际国内市场。不过Zenbanx并不是一家银行,它是与FDIC会员单位WilmingtonSavingsFundSociety联合签署账户。

就在几日之后,SoFi又宣布与社区银行Promontory Interfinancial Network建立合作。合作完成之后,SoFi将向社区银行出售部分学生贷款,随着合作的深入,社区银行也可以申请购买SoFi推出的"超级助学贷款"。Promontory Interfinancial Network将成为第一家与SoFi建立合作的社区银行。

事实上,2016年年底,Mike Cagney就曾对外表示,SoFi将在2017年全面推出自己的银行账户并发行信用卡。而去年12月初,美国通货监理署曾对外表示,将逐步向互联网借贷公司授予银行执照。Cagney称这对加强互联网金融公司与监管单位的协调性和一致性具有重大意义。而就在去年7月的时候,Cagney向投资者表示,获得银行执照对于SoFi难度巨大。

SoFi于2011年成立,初期主要致力于大学毕业生联邦或私人学生贷款的巩固与再融资。经过近些年的发展,目前平台业务已经拓展到了抵押贷款、抵押贷款再融资和个人贷款等多个领域。

SoFi has decided to become a bank. The Fintech firm that has spent so much time telling the world they were not a bank has decided to join the ranks of their erstwhile adversaries and apply for a bank charter. If you can’t beat-em, join-em. Founder and CEO Mike Cagney told TechCrunch that it was time.

“With Zenbanx, we got a banking stack that de-risks the ILC application. We will have the ability to get our deposit product out later this year.”

The ILC or “Industrial Loan Charter” is a financial institution in the US that can lend money and be owned by a non-financial institutions. Importantly ILC’s can hold FDIC deposits. Even though an ILC has not been issued in years, some very well known names hold ILC’s (according to Wikipedia) including Merrill Lynch, UBS and American Express.

The acquisition of digital only Zenbanx and the potential to hold deposits opens up a new world of services for SoFi.

While the online lender started as a preferred platform to refinance student loans, SoFi has much larger ambitions that not only include a vast array of financial services but a significant global presence.

SoFi wants to outdo mega-banks like Citi by providing better, cheaper services around the world. SoFi lays claim to the largest single Fintech investment ever when SoftBank kicked in $1 billion. Not too long ago this was augmented by another $500 million giving SoFi plenty of head room to expand and grow.

At one point, an IPO appeared imminent but the cash war-chest means SoFi does not need to hit the public markets to raise additional capital. This also benefits SoFi as current market conditions for online lenders is rather soft – especially following recent results announced by publicly traded online lenders Lending Club and OnDeck.

In March, it was reported that SoFi had offered to by back shares from employees in a tender offer. The sale was said to take place in April thus providing an element of liquidity to early shareholders that have seen the value of the company rocket but have been unable to take advantage of the capital gain. The report said that vested employees were allowed to sell 20% of their shares at a per share price of $16.30.

Several years back during a presentation at LendIt, Cagney said that once an platform starts taking deposits that’s when the gloves come off. I guess that time is here as SoFi seeks to do something “really disruptive” and enter the banking ring.


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