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SoFi hails "incredible milestone" of becoming a bank

The banking charter will now allow it to hold customer deposits and issues loans.

a man in a suit sitting in a chair

Anthony Noto/Flickr/TechCrunch.

The boss of SoFi hailed the reaching of an "incredible milestone" after it got approval from the regulators to become a bank.

Shares in the US mobile-first lender surged more than 15 per cent on the news, after it got the green light from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Reserve.

To help it speed up the granting of its banking charter, SoFi last year agreed to buy Californian community bank Golden Pacific Bancorp.

Currently, SoFi offers services including debits cards, loans and cash accounts but, as it's not officially a bank, shoulders customer deposits and loans through partnerships with banks.

The banking charter will now allow it to accept deposits and issues loans.

"This incredible milestone elevates our ability to help even more people get their money right and realize their ambitions," said Anthony Noto, CEO of SoFi said.

"With a national bank charter, not only will we be able to lend at even more competitive interest rates and provide our members with high-yielding interest in checking and savings, it will also enhance our financial products and services to ensure they efficiently meet the needs of our members, business partners, and communities across the country, while continuing to uphold a high bar of regulatory standards and compliance."

SoFi, which started out as a student lender, has grown to offer a range of lending and investment products, from mortgages to personal loans, ETFs and savings accounts.

Last year, it entered the credit card market in the US.

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