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Online lender Figure Technologies continues to expand into new corners of the fintech space. Its subsidiary, Figure Securities Inc., recently registered with the SEC as a broker-dealer and as an “alternative trading system,” or “ATS.” Figure intends to use its new ATS to allow customers to exchange digital securities whose ownership is verified and recorded on Figure’s Provenance blockchain platform, and third-party issuers will be able to use Figure Securities and the Provenance blockchain to create and issue digital securities.

Figure, founded by SoFi founder Mike Cagney, developed the Provenance blockchain in support of its lending business, with a focus on home equity lines of credit, mortgages, and student loan refis, but its potential applications are likely to broaden through trading on an SEC-registered ATS.

LEGAL TOKENS

While Figure was preparing to jump into the securities side of the fintech industry, it was also exploring options on the banking side. Figure has submitted an application for consideration by the Treasury’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to launch a national bank. A “Figure Bank” would be an unusual “flavor” of national bank, with a focus on blockchain-powered payments and custody of digital securities, but without deposit insurance from the FDIC. While it is possible that the OCC could grant Figure a charter eventually, a decision is unlikely to come any time soon.

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Nathan Brownback | Associate

Nathan is a member of Seward & Kissel’s Financial Services Regulatory Group, where he focuses on the regulation of domestic and foreign banks, with particular emphasis on regulation under the Dodd-Frank Act, including the Volcker Rule. He also advises on matters related to fintech, commercial lending, bank holding company regulation, bank affiliate transactions, and merchant banking rules. Prior to receiving his law degree, Nathan was an economic research analyst, first in the private sector and subsequently for a regional Federal Reserve Bank.