Varo leadership expands as it builds banking systems designed to enhance customer financial health.
SAN FRANCISCO – April 23, 2019 – Mobile banking startup Varo Money, Inc. today announced the addition of two former Office of the Comptroller of the Currency officials to the company’s leadership. Amy Friend has joined the Board of Directors. She served as Senior Deputy Comptroller and Chief Counsel at the OCC from February 2013 to November 2017. Deven Bhatt joined as Chief Information Security Officer, and he was the CISO of the OCC prior to joining Varo. The additions to the company’s leadership underscore Varo’s mission to build a safe and secure national bank that uses the latest technology to help consumers improve their financial health.
“Varo is thrilled to build its leadership capacity with Amy and Deven. Their combined experience represent the intersection of innovation in banking, security, and providing consumers with access to high quality, low cost financial services,” Colin Walsh, CEO, said.
Friend has over 25 years of experience in banking and consumer protection regulation and is a senior advisor at FS Vector, a strategic advisory firm for innovative financial services companies. She currently serves as a director of FinRegLab, a newly established non-profit organization that conducts research and tests new technologies and data to inform public policy and market practices with the goal of improving financial services and expanding access. She also led the OCC’s initiative to support responsible innovation in the federal banking system, recognizing the power of technology to reach underserved consumers and provide better, fairer, and more transparent financial services. She served as Chief Counsel for the Senate Banking Committee from 2008 to 2010 where she played a key role in crafting Congress’ responses to the financial crisis, including the Dodd-Frank Act, and its creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. She will advise Varo as the company builds its banking systems designed to enhance customer financial health.
“I fully support Varo’s mission to promote its customers’ financial well-being through fair, inclusive and transparent products and services,” Friend said. “I am honored to join a leadership team who is passionate about the company’s mission and vision and has the expertise and commitment to deliver on Varo’s promises.”
Bhatt will lead Varo’s information security program to enhance and build a best-in-class cyber security program. He served as the OCC’s Chief Information Security Officer and Chief Privacy Officer for the past five years. In addition to his work in government, has more than 25 years of experience in the information security field, covering private sector Fortune 500 companies, banking, and the payment industry. He will be based in Varo’s Salt Lake City office.
“It’s a privilege to build a leading cyber security program as the foundation for building and earning valuable trust of our customers. Varo is really making a significant economic impact in the lives of the customers in their journey towards financial security,” Bhatt said.
Bhatt holds an M.S. in Information Assurance from Norwich University and also holds Federal CIO Certificate from Carnegie Mellon University Heinz College. He has multiple, prestigious industry leading security certifications, including CISSP-ISSAP and ISSMP, CCISO, CISM, CISA, CRISC, CGEIT. He was awarded the Compass award in 2007 by CSO magazine and has been recognized with 2019 CSO50 award for demonstrating business value and thought leadership of the cyber security program and culture developed at OCC.
Varo is working to become the first mobile-centric national bank in U.S. history, and believes banking should be fee-free, easy, and accessible to everyone through a smartphone. In August 2018, Varo was granted preliminary approval for a national bank charter by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). Operating as a national bank would allow Varo to offer customers an expanded range of banking products and solutions with the continued highest standards of consumer protection.
Varo was founded in 2015 and has raised more than $165M in funding with Warburg Pincus and The Rise Fund, a global impact fund led by private equity firm TPG as lead investors.
About Varo Money
Varo Money, Inc. (“Varo”) is on a mission to redefine banking so it’s easy for everyone to make smart choices with their money. In one mobile app, Varo offers customers no-cost¹ premium bank accounts and high-interest savings accounts offered through The Bancorp Bank, and tech-first features to help people manage their money more easily. As a fintech leader, Varo has been granted preliminary approval for a de novo national bank charter by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), and is working to become the first mobile-centric national bank in U.S. history. Based in San Francisco and Utah and privately held, Varo has raised $165M to date, led by Warburg Pincus. Varo Personal Loans are offered by Varo Money, Inc., under state licenses, subject to application approval. For more information, visit www.varomoney.com, like Varo on Facebook, and follow us on Instagram and Twitter @varomoney.
¹Varo charges no fees for banking services. While Varo does not charge fees for ATM withdrawals, some third-party ATM operators may charge a fee. To avoid ATM fees altogether, customers can use an Allpoint® Network ATM. There are more than 55,000 Allpoint locations worldwide.
Bank Account Services provided by The Bancorp Bank; Member FDIC.