Monday, June 17, 2024

Synapse bankruptcy trustee says $85 million of customer savings is missing in fintech meltdown


Jelena McWilliams, chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), during a Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021.

Al Drago | Bloomberg | Getty Images

There is an $85 million shortfall between what partner banks of fintech middleman Synapse are holding and what depositors are owed, according to the court-appointed trustee in the Synapse bankruptcy.

Customers of fintech firms that used Synapse to link up with banks had $265 million in balances. But the banks themselves only had $180 million associated with those accounts, trustee Jelena McWilliams said in a report filed late Thursday.

The missing funds explain what is at the heart of the worst meltdown in the U.S. fintech sector since its emergence in the years after the 2008 financial crisis. More than 100,000 customers of a diverse set of fintech companies have been locked out of their savings accounts for nearly a month after the failure of Synapse, an Andreessen Horowitz-backed startup, amid disagreements over user balances.

While Synapse and its partners, including Evolve Bank & Trust, have lobbed accusations of improperly moving balances or keeping incorrect ledgers at each other in court filings, McWilliams’ report is the first outside attempt to determine the scope of missing funds in this mess.

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