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SoFi to buy community lender to accelerate bank charter application

SoFi to buy community lender to accelerate bank charter application

Online lender Social Finance (SoFi) has agreed to buy Californian community bank Golden Pacific for $22.3 million in an effort to speed up the process of obtaining a bank charter.

SoFi has inked a definitive agreement to pay $2.55 in cash for each share of Sacramento-based Golden Pacific Bancorp.

In October SoFi secured conditional approval from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency for its national bank charter application. However, the firm is now changing its strategy, switching its current de novo bank application to a change of control application.

SoFi started life as a student loan financing outfit but in recent years has been expanding aggressively, most recently launching a credit card. It wants the bank charter to enable it to accept deposits and make loans that use its member deposits.

If the new application is approved by the OCC and the Federal Reserve, SoFi says it will pump $750 million into its national, digital business plan while maintaining Golden Pacific’s community bank business and footprint, including its three physical branches.

Anthony Noto, CEO, SoFi, says: “We are thrilled to have found a partner in Golden Pacific Bank to both accelerate our pursuit to establish a national bank subsidiary, as well as begin to expand our offerings in SoFi’s financial products and Galileo’s technology platform to serve local communities.

SoFi is also on the verge of going public via a Spac deal that would value the company at nearly $9 billion.

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