Fintech competition ramps up

Colin Walsh is on the cusp of accomplishing the audacious goal he set for himself four years ago: To open the first FDIC-insured fintech bank. Walsh, founder of Varo Money, Inc., just received FDIC approval for Varo Bank, N.A. The OCC will soon finalize the preliminary approval it gave the venture 18 months ago; by the end of this month, Varo plans to file for a holding company charter from the Federal Reserve. [Continue]

Personal touch still a plus

One of the important roles that community banks play in the American economy is providing credit to small businesses. What I consider to be the typical small company — $1 million to $10 million in annual revenue, 10 to 75 employees — often needs a line of credit or periodic term loans that are too small to attract the interest of the largest banks. [Continue]

2019 as crystal ball

Looking ahead with accuracy depends on getting a clear picture of the past. As 2019 closes, it is worth recalling some of the year’s developments in order to see where things may be going, from the economy and pot banking to technology and political leadership. [Continue]