Mobile bank startup eyes national bank status

Varo Money Inc. is shooting to be the first national mobile bank. The mobile banking startup announced Tuesday that it has applied for a national bank charter from the Office the Comptroller of the Currency and for federal deposit insurance from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. to form Varo Bank N.A.

Varo is not applying for a special purpose charter because they are “generally used for a bigger company that is applying as a subsidiary where banking is actually not their core business,” according to Emily Brauer Gill, director of brand and communications for Varo.

Brauer Gill noted that from its inception, Varo’s founder, Colin Walsh, wanted to make the firm a national bank.

“Banking will be our core business, so we believe that the national bank charter is the right one for what we want to achieve,” Brauer Gill said.


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