Tulsa-Based Vast Bank Operates With Increased Oversight Following Regulators Concerns On Cryptocurrency

Tulsa-based Vast Bank agreed to a consent order that requires the bank to bolster internal controls with more reporting to the government. The order stops further action by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to influence operations.

Monday, November 20th 2023, 6:53 pm



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A Tulsa Bank is now operating under increased oversight from the Treasury Department.

Tulsa-based Vast Bank agreed to a consent order that requires the bank to bolster internal controls with more reporting to the government.

The order stops further action by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to influence operations.

CEO Tom Biolchini said federal regulators had concerns about the bank holding cryptocurrency assets for customers.

The bank started advertising crypto accounts in 2020, but the venture was small, less than 1% of holdings, according to Biolchini, who said currently Vast holds about $2 million of crypto assets, with no investment by the bank.

The consent order cited unsound practices at the bank relating to liquidity, new products, IT infrastructure, record-keeping and requires additional oversight, with a new bank-appointed compliance committee reporting both to the existing board and to regulators.

The current bank leadership remains unchanged, according to Biolchini, who leads the privately held bank. Vast recently opened a new downtown headquarters office in Tulsa and primarily handles commercial banking.

“That order is directed towards our crypto-currency play." Biolchini said. “Vast Bank has made the strategic decision to exit it. You have to separate crypto-currency from the community banking that is Vast Bank,” he said, emphasizing there will be no impact on customers outside of the few involved with cryptocurrencies.

Biolchini said the bank has secured a $48 million infusion from investor Greg Kidd, which ensures it has plenty of capital for the long term.

“I believe that once they see we're making these aggressive steps to exit crypto and focus on the community bank, I think we'll be right back where we wanted to go,” said Biolchini.

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