Yellin’ at Yellen
While not technically fintech news, the letter from Rep. Patrick McHenry to Janet Yellen is noticeable for challenging how the Fed has been operating and its activities in the future. McHenry, as the Vice Chairman of the Financial Services Committee, has also been outspoken about fintech issues. However, after relating slower economic growth to agreements such as Basel III, he now urges Yellen and the Fed to cease all international negotiations and coordination until the new administration can “nominate and appoint officials that prioritize America’s best interests.”

SoFi finally gets a deposit product 
SoFi has not been shy about its intentions to build out a full suite of banking products for its customers. One major gap identified in the product set was a core deposit product, which is now becoming a reality thanks to the acquisition of Zenbanx. However, this still does not give SoFi a banking license, since Zenbanx is not bank and uses WSFS Bank to provide the behind-the-scenes banking services. However, the new acquisition will finally let SoFi offer checking accounts, credit cards, and international money transfer to its customers.

Fifth Third formalizes QED relationship
As I have covered over the last few months, Fifth Third has become a very active investor in the fintech scene, participating in rounds for companies such as GreenSky, AvidXchange, and ApplePie Capital, often with a strong strategic thesis. QED Investors, a fintech VC firm, has also invested in those three deals, and now the two co-investors are partnering up to keep it going. Under the agreement, QED will help advise Fifth Third on its financial innovation strategy, which should be presumed to include access to deal flow and introductions to startups that the bank may want to acquire in pursuit of its technology goals.

New fintech fund, with experience 
Motive Partners, a new fintech investment fund, launched a few weeks ago. While new fund launches aren’t always noteworthy, this one could be different – especially given that they are targeting a $1 billion raise for the first fund. As expected, the partners aren’t new to the game – many were former executives at FIS, a core banking software provider that has been investing in and acquiring fintech startups and established companies for a long time. The team includes the former EVP of Global Financial Solutions at FIS, former CEO of Interactive Data, and the former CFO of FIS. They do not plan to play in the early-stage VC rounds, but will be more PE-like targeting $100MM of capital to invest in each deal (with other LPs).

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