Plaid co-founder unveils new bank for FinTechs

William Hockey, the co-founder of financial infrastructure company Plaid, has launched FinTech bank Column.

He is co-chief executive of the new venture with his wife Annie Hockey, a former private equity investment executive. William Hockey is still on the board of Plaid.

Column is billed as a bank to “enable developers and builders to create new financial products”. The founders are calling it an “infrastructure bank”.

To get going, the Hockeys' paid $50 million to acquire Northern California National Bank - a single branch entity - securing a US national bank charter in the process. They then built their own core, ledger and data platform.

“Financial services need to be consumer, developer and internet first, but in order to do this they need a new backbone,” they said. “We believe that a bank needs to be a software company.

"But we had to start from ground zero. Every single component has been built from the ground up, with no middleware or legacy software.”

They said Column had a “strong balance sheet” that enables it to provide capital and “developer focused lending” to clients.

Column is already looking after some business from FinTechs including Brex, Oxygen and also Plaid, but is now open to the market generally.

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