Blockchain lending startup Figure seeks national bank charter: report

Figure Technologies, the blockchain lending startup founded by former SoFi CEO Mark Cagney, has applied for a national bank charter, according to a report by Bloomberg.

“It will drive down the cost of delivering our product to those underserved by the financial sector,” Cagney told the outlet. “It will allow the consumer to build a credit history and become a mainstream prime borrower.”

As previously reported, Figure is focused on issuing home equity lines of credit on a private blockchain network. It struck an arrangement for $1 billion in uncommitted credit from Jeffries last year, and in March completed its first asset-backed securitization process on a blockchain.

Whether Figure is able to successfully obtain a bank charter from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency remains to be seen. A bid to award special-purpose charters to fintechs drew legal challenges from state regulators, which argued that firms that don't take deposits in the traditional sense shouldn't be awarded charters.

As Bloomberg noted, last week the OCC granted conditional approval to Cagney's old startup, which is seeking to establish a national bank. 

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