Blue Ridge Financial institution faucets Fed vet to steer fintech division

Charlottesville, Virginia-based Blue Ridge Financial institution named Kirsten Muetzel, a 10-year veteran of the Federal Reserve, as president of its fintech division, the financial institution introduced Tuesday.

The transfer comes roughly 4 months after the Workplace of the Comptroller of the Foreign money (OCC) ordered the financial institution to enhance its oversight of third-party fintech partnerships.

Blue Ridge and one other Virginia-based financial institution, FVCB, terminated a deliberate merger final January, about two months after delaying the transaction over “sure regulatory considerations” the OCC discovered with Blue Ridge.

“Kirsten is a revered thought chief within the business, and he or she brings the right mixture of banking supervision expertise coupled with fintech business data and enterprise acumen,” Blue Ridge CEO Brian Plum stated in an announcement Tuesday. “Kirsten will likely be instrumental as we proceed constructing the mandatory infrastructure to help present partnerships whereas making ready the muse upon which to construct future success.”

Muetzel served in a number of roles for the Federal Reserve Financial institution of San Francisco between 2008 and 2019. She specialised in monetary sector coverage and evaluation and counterparty credit score threat evaluation earlier than serving as chief of workers for the area’s monetary establishments supervision and credit score unit, and capping her tenure as a central level of contact, in response to her LinkedIn profile. 

She later served as head of finance for 2 fintechs, Metallic and EarnUp, and chief threat officer for 2 extra: Synctera and Fundid. Muetzel additionally spent greater than three years targeted on capital elevating and mergers-and-acquisitions advisory companies at Goldman Sachs.

At Blue Ridge, Muetzel is ready to handle a portfolio of companions, strengthen regulatory compliance and advance the financial institution’s banking-as-a-service technique. 

“There proceed to be vital alternatives for banks to develop relationships with fintech corporations and create new income streams whereas in flip enhancing services to present prospects,” Muetzel stated. “Many of those fintech preparations are targeted on bettering entry to monetary companies, which might make an actual distinction in somebody’s day-to-day life, and thereby evokes me.”

Below the OCC’s order, Blue Ridge should acquire the regulator’s non-objection earlier than getting into into any new contracts with fintech companions or including new merchandise in cooperation with present companions.

The financial institution additionally agreed to point out, in an “motion plan,” how it could higher monitor suspicious exercise, together with “excessive threat buyer exercise involving … third-party fintech companions.”

A Blue Ridge-appointed compliance committee should additionally present quarterly particulars of corrective actions the financial institution intends to implement, the timelines to finish them, the names of the individuals accountable and standing updates on these measures.

Tuesday’s motion presumably places a brand new identify atop that checklist.

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