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SoFi Bank Bid To Buy Golden Pacific Protested By Fair Finance Watch As Regulatory Evasion

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - The Source

SOUTH BRONX, April 3 – In the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, and with a fintech and crypto-currency proponent then installed as Acting Comptroller, SoFi and its controller SoftBank sought to get a U.S. bank charter.

 On March 9, 2021 SoFi said it wants to buy Golden Pacific Bank, to "speed up" its charter and taking of insured deposits.

  On April 3, Inner City Press filed this: "Dear Acting Comptroller, Mr. Lybarger, and others in the OCC:  This is a timely first comment opposing and requesting an extension of the required OCC's public comment period on the application by SoFi Interim Bank to acquire Golden Pacific.       This is a major proposal, by a fintech in which SoftBank has a large stake.    

   Inner City Press / Fair Finance Watch opposed SoFi's previous, suspended attempt to get into banking. Since then the questions have only grown.   

  As to SoftBank, the dispute regarding another of its holdings, WeWork, portends the type of problems that regulators like the OCC are directed to keep out of, not invite into, the banking system. See also, for now, this  

This stealth proposal - it appears that Golden Pacific does not even report HMDA data - is a cynical attempt to game the regulatory system. See, e.g., "SoFi (NYSE:IPOE) is becoming a bank with its $22.3 million acquisition of Golden Pacific Bancorp (OTCPK:GPBI). Golden Pacific is a California-based community bank regulated by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and with $150 million in assets. The acquisition which will be paid for in cash builds on SoFi's current application to obtain a national bank charter with the OCC. On closing of the acquisition, the fintech company will switch its current bank application to a change of control application. This should accelerate the timeline for SoFi's attainment of a national bank charter."    Inner City Press opposes that CIBC application as well - but this application clearly should not be approved. Public hearings are needed, and requested.   

   For the above reasons, including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns and restrictions, the comment period should not yet start or should extended, until in person public hearings can be held." Watch this site.



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