Online lender SoFi has applied for a national bank charter with the US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC).
A company spokesperson confirms that an application has been submitted to the OCC for a proposed de novo national bank, SoFi Bank, National Association. The license would enable it to make loans and hold customer deposits without a FDIC-insured banking partner.
SoFi started life as a student loan financing outfit but in recent years has been expanding aggressively.
Earlier this year it paid $1.2 billion for financial services API and payments platform Galileo Financial Services. In 2017 it bought mobile banking outfit Zenbanx and last year it teamed up with Coinbase as it moved to add the ability to trade cryptocurrencies within the overall SoFi Invest platform.
Anthony Noto, CEO, SoFi, says: "We firmly believe that by pursuing a national bank charter, we will be able to help even more people get their money right with enhanced value and more products and services."
The firm applied for a license in 2017 but withdrew from the process later that year following the departure of CEO Mike Cagney, who left amidst allegations of sexual harassment at the firm.
SoFi would not be the first fintech upstart to secure a license at the second attempt. In March, Square secured approval from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation after an initial 2017 effort floundered.