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Varo Challenged on Federal Reserve Application For Banking After Service Outage and CRA Dodge

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - CJR - PFT

SDNY / South Bronx, June 10 –  With fintechs pushing to get into banking, through now ex-Comptroller Joseph Otting who after trashing the Community Reinvestment Act left and immediately joined fintech Black Knight, and through the PPP, on June 10 Fair Finance Watch with Inner City Press on FOIA submitted timely comments to the Federal Reserve opposing Varo's application, pointing for example at Varo's service interruption in October 2019, including declined debit card transactions, which they tried to blame on their processor Galileo. See here. 

        Fair Finance Watch has timely asked the Federal Reserve for a hearing on weakened CRA duties, and disproportionate exclusion: low and moderate consumers disproportionately have prepaid or limited data plans and face disconnections of their mobile service. And just because consumers have email addresses does not mean that they have regular internet access, and if they close or move their accounts, they may lose access to their financial records.    

Despite or perhaps because of these and the service interruptions, using OCC deregulation, "Varo Money has raised an additional $241 million in Series D funding, the company announced today. The investment was co-led by new investor Gallatin Point Capital and existing investor The Rise Fund, co-founded by TPG. Also participating in the round were Bono (yes, that one, also trying to get Ireland onto the UN Security Council in a June 17 virtual election), along with entrepreneur, impact investor and movie producer Jeff Skoll; plus HarbourVest Partners and Progressive Insurance.  To date, Varo has raised $419.4 million in funding."      

See also, for the record on which Inner City Press / Fair Finance Watch are timely requesting evidentiary hearings on this application, " NEWS Technology Finance  Unregulated Fintech Could be the Source of the Next Market Crash Posted to TechnologyFinance."   

     At to the Fed itself, currently the FRB's H2A states "The H.2A is released each Friday and will be updated at least every three days.  June 8, 2020 - Updates to current release May 29, 2020 - Current release."

June 8 and May 29 are more than three - more than ten - days apart.  As previously raised to the Board, without any response, as of December 28, 2019 the most recent application on the FRB's online H2A had a comment period ending December 20 - that is, already closed.

      Meanwhile the Fed is processing and moving to rubber stamp bank expansion applications during the COVID-19 pandemic. The comment periods must be re-opened and other remedies. Watch this site.


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