M1 Finance CEO buys First National Bank of Buhl
Brian Barnes, the CEO of fintech M1 Finance, has bought Virginia-based First National Bank of Buhl.
The fintech CEO explains in a blog post that while his firm “will ideally own a bank in the future” it has “work to do” before it’s ready to become a bank holding company.
M1 Finance offers traditional banking, investing, and lending products.
It has three products: M1 Invest, its original investment product, M1 Borrow, which lets account holders borrow against their accounts, and M1 Spend, a checking account and debit card.
Yet it is reliant on banking partners, chiefly the FDIC-insured Lincoln Savings Bank.
By Barnes’ own admission, First National Bank of Buhl is one of the smallest chartered banks in the US.
The M1 CEO says he plans to support the bank in its local community going forward, and invest in its technology to create a Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) provider.
The first customer of that new BaaS service will be M1.
“Purchasing this bank provides M1 with another partner bank for its next banking product launch,” says Barnes.
“While these companies are wholly separate, they intend to forge a partnership to change the future of finance.”
M1 Finance has also secured a partnership deal with Swiss banking vendor Temenos, focused around building “a stronger, faster, more secure cloud banking platform.”