According to reports, Robinhood, a cryptocurrency, stocks and options trading platform is in talks to offer banking services like savings accounts. Sources close to the matter said that they were in early discussions with regulators to offer banking-like products.
The sources asked not to be identified because the talks are confidential, as reported by Bloomberg. They stated that the company is having “constructive conversations” with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.
This marks the entry of Robinhood in a space that is unique to them, as they offer their products with fees close to zero. In an interview with Bloomberg, co-founder Vladimir Tenev said:
“When we entered the space we saw the opportunity to provide a dramatically better product…All of your investments can be in one place [where you can] trade cryptocurrencies, stocks, and options, without commissions.”
When asked about how he plans to take on volatility as a problem and its impact on the company, he said:
“We’re going to solve that [volatility] problem by offering a broad suite of financial services. 5 years from now, you should be able to open robinhood and get anything you can get at your local bank or brokerage house at a dramatically higher value and much better customer experience…We’ve benefitted from good market conditions, but the great thing about offering different products, it gives people tools to make investments in all kinds of market conditions.”
He provided a somewhat concrete stance on offering savings accounts to customers, saying:
“Eventually we’ll get to every product. The hard part is figuring out what products we offer, what times to get the maximum impact and maximum value for customers.”
When asked about this, a spokesperson for Robinhood declined to comment. This potential move comes after the company was valued at $5.6 billion in a new round of funding from investors such as Sequoia Capital, Iconiq Capital and CapitalG, Alphabet Inc.’s growth fund.
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