In today’s top news in digital-first banking, Blend Labs, Inc. launched its initial public offering (IPO), while the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) is examining use of the digital yuan for cross-border payments. Plus, United Community Banks and Reliant Bancorp are merging in a $517 million all-stock deal.
Blend Labs, Inc. rolled out its IPO of 20 million shares of Class A common stock on the New York Stock Exchange, starting at $18 per share and crossing the $20-per-share mark in early action on the floor. The IPO raised $360 million for the online lending company, valuing it at $4 billion. The lead book-running managers for Blend’s IPO are Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, Allen & Company LLC and Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC.
The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) is looking into use of the digital yuan for international payments. The country’s central bank said, according to a Reuters report, that it was “willing to participate actively in international exchanges of views on digital fiat currency and discuss standards setting … in order to jointly advance the development of the international monetary system.” The digital yuan is being piloted in Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen and other large cities.
Reliant Bancorp and United Community Banks are combining via an estimated $517 million all-stock transaction. Reliant, which is headquartered in Tennessee, has 25 branches in the state, primarily in Nashville. “Partnering with Reliant is consistent with our strategy to expand into high-growth southeastern markets with companies that share our focus on employee experience, customer service, and community engagement,” Lynn Harton, United chairman and CEO, said in a press release. “We have had a strong interest in strengthening our Tennessee franchise for several years … this merger positions us well for future growth in the state.”