Top 10 Fintech News Stories for the Week Ending July 3, 2021

Robinhood dominated the news this week with two big stories happening on consecutive days: a record FINRA fine and then releasing their S-1 in preparation for their IPO. JPMorgan continues to acquire fintechs and Chime extends its lead as the most popular digital bank. Here are what I consider to be the top 10 most important fintech news stories of the past week.

Robinhood has 18 million accounts with $80 billion in assets after rapid growth, IPO filing shows from CNBC – In what could well be the biggest fintech IPO ever Robinhood filed their S-1 with the SEC this week so everyone gets to pore over their numbers now.

Robinhood Agrees to Pay $70 Million to Settle Regulatory Investigation from The Wall Street Journal – In their largest fine ever, FINRA agreed to settle with Robinhood for almost $70 million for allegations that the brokerage misled customers, approved ineligible traders for risky strategies and didn’t supervise technology that failed and locked millions out of trading.

JPMorgan is buying an ESG investing platform in bank’s third fintech acquisition of the past year from CNBC – JPMorgan acquires OpenInvest one of the leading fintech companies in the ESG investing space.

Chime leads digital-first banking apps in downloads in H1 2021 from Insider Intelligence – Chime continues to crush it with 6.4 million new downloads in the first half of the year, Current was second with 2.7 million and Varo third with 1.95 million.

TD Bank introduces no overdraft-fee account, revises overdraft policy from Banking Dive – TD Bank has been one of the largest beneficiaries of overdrafts fees (as a percentage of non-interest income) but they recently announced a new no-overdraft deposit account.

Walmart’s Money Card Is Now A Checking Account: Does It Matter? from Forbes – Ron Shevlin takes a deep dive into Walmart’s debit card turned full featured checking account and wonders if it is going to be a competitive threat to banks or fintechs.

Goldman Sachs is beefing up in buy now, pay later with partnership and strategy hires from Business Insider – Goldman Sachs’ BNPL product, MarcusPay has been out for a while with JetBlue as the only high profile client but that could be set to change as the company looks to beef up it executive ranks for the product.

Fintechs seek CFPB guidance on making AI-based lending fair from American Banker – Affirm, LendingClub, Oportun, PayPal, Square and Varo Bank sent a letter to the CFPB this week seeking clarity on disparate impact of AI-based lending.

Former Zillow execs raise $70M seed round for Tomo, which wants to simplify the mortgage process from TechCrunch – It was a quiet week on the fundraising front with Tomo leading the way with what they a calling a $70 million seed round. Really? Sounds like a Series A to me…

Kikoff raises $30M for its hybrid consumer-credit and financial-literacy service from TechCrunch – Kikoff came out a stealth mode this week announcing that they have closed on a $30 million Series B and had previously closed $12.5 million in seed/Series A funding.

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