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Varo Appoints Philippa Girling as Chief Risk Officer

by Varo Bank

April 4, 2019

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SAN FRANCISCO – April 4, 2019 – Mobile banking startup Varo Money, Inc. today announced the hire of Philippa Girling as Chief Risk Officer. Girling will lead Varo’s Credit and Operational Risk, Information Security, Compliance, BSA/AML, and Fraud teams. She is a seasoned bank executive with more than 20 years experience in the global financial services industry. She was previously Chief Risk Officer, EVP at Investors Bank where she was responsible for second line risk management for all risk categories.  Prior to that, Philippa was the first line Business Risk Officer, SVP at Capital One Commercial Bank. Previous roles include second line global risk management leadership roles at Morgan Stanley and Nomura. She will be based in Varo’s San Francisco office.

“Philippa brings a wealth of bank strategy and risk management expertise to Varo that will accelerate our lead as a banking company of the future,” Colin Walsh, CEO, said. “Her leadership will help us build Varo as a safe, secure, and trusted financial partner for our customers, building on the significant progress our Risk and Compliance teams have made so far toward building a world class risk program.”

Girling is a recognized risk management leader in the industry and was named one of the decade's "Top Fifty Faces of Operational Risk" in 2006. In addition to authoring two Operational Risk textbooks, she is also a well-recognized public speaker on Enterprise Risk Management. Holding a PhD (Global Affairs), the New York Bar and Financial Risk Manager (FRM) qualifications, she was also recognized in 2014 by Working Mother Magazine as one of the top 100 Working Mothers in America.

“I joined Varo because it’s a company that is changing the way we bank and feel about money,” Girling said. “Drawing on my experience in financial services, I look forward to joining the team to make a positive social impact and be at the forefront of innovation in banking.”

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) subject to approval of deposit insurance from the FDIC. 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, 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.

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