US Bank has taken ownership stakes in two fintech-focussed venture capital firms as it seeks to step up its engagement with the sector.
The lender has become a limited partner in Fin Venture Capital and Commerce Ventures, which both invest in fintech startups that work alongside banks.
The move builds on US Bank's dedicated fintech engagement unit, which was set up five years ago to analyse the industry to find, evaluate and facilitate partnerships.
Over the years, the bank has acquired, invested in, and partnered a host of firms in areas such as cryptocurrency, DLT, tokenisation of assets, personalised financial insights, and API integrations.
Now it wants to tap into the VCs' tailored research and insights into emerging trends, as well as their networks for future partnership and investment opportunities.
David Ness, who leads the fintech engagement group, says: "We leverage an extensive network of partners to source options, based on a series of relationships we’ve built over the years. These two investments enhance that even further.
"It’s about stronger relationships with these innovative companies, deeper access into their focus areas, and earlier engagement in their strategic discussions, thinking and decisions - all of which enable us to create the best possible solutions for our customers faster and more efficiently."