Robinhood looks for banking licence

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Bloomberg has reported that Robinhood, a stock and crypto trading app is planning to offer banking services to its 4 million users.

Back in February its Robinhood trading tool introduced zero-fee crypt trading, and now, according to anonymous sources talking to Bloomberg, it is currently in “constructive” talks with the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) to position itself as a banking services provider.

The rumours suggest that Robinhood wants to offer features such as savings accounts, and that it also hope to beat competition from traditional banks by providing its customers with improved interest rates and by being an all-in-one financial portal.

Just one month ago it raised $63 million to expand its services across the entire United States. It also claims to be “the fastest-growing brokerage ever,” reaching a valuation of $5.6 billion. The company says in its blog: “We recently raised $363 million in capital, valuing Robinhood at $5.6 billion. The Series D round of funding was led by DST Global, with participation from new investors Iconiq, Capital G, Sequoia Capital, and Kleiner Perkins. Existing investors included NEA and Thrive Capital.”

The competition for conventional banking customers continues and Robinhood is not alone in trying to break into this sector. The Goldman-Sachs backed Circle is also pursuing a banking licence with the OCC earlier this month, and Coinbase, the largest U.S. crypto exchange and wallet provider, also began talks with the OCC regarding obtaining a federal banking licence. However, if any of these is tagged ot become ‘the people’s crypto bank’, it must surely be Robinhood, after all the Sherwood Forest ‘outlaw’ after whom the fintech startup is named, robbed the rich to give to the poor.

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