SoFi Is Said to Plan Credit Card With Help From Former Citi Exec

(Bloomberg) -- Social Finance Inc., a startup looking to offer a range of banking services to millennials, is working on a credit card and is bringing in a former Citigroup Inc. executive to help oversee the initiative, said people familiar with the matter.

The San Francisco-based company hopes to offer credit cards within the next year, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans are private. In preparation, SoFi is hiring Richard Garside to help lead the company’s operations, the people said.

During more than two decades at the bank, Garside obtained plenty of experience in credit cards, at one point overseeing operations of the unit there. Citi is the world’s largest credit card issuer, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Garside left Citi in 2013 and most recently served as president of Independence Bancshares Inc.

A spokesman for SoFi declined to comment. Garside couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

SoFi started in 2011 by helping U.S. students refinance loans and has been branching into other areas of personal finance since then. It now offers mortgages and other lending products and is in the process of rolling out a checking account-like service called SoFi Money.

Mike Cagney, the co-founder and former chief executive officer, has long had ambitions to challenge banks by targeting millennials with financial products, including insurance, mortgages, wealth management and banking. Setbacks last year, including allegations of sexual misconduct inside the company, raised questions about those goals.

Cagney left in September and was recently replaced by Anthony Noto, the former Twitter Inc. chief operating officer. In his first couple months at SoFi, Noto has made it clear that he wants to add new revenue sources before an eventual initial public offering.

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