Russell Westbrook Helps Varo Bank Secure $63 Million Investment, Will Address Financial Inequality as Advisor

Illustration for article titled Russell Westbrook Helps Varo Bank Secure $63 Million Investment, Will Address Financial Inequality as Advisor

Photo: Will Newton (Getty Images)

I will never in life seek his counsel on fashion choices, but when it comes to money moves, Russell Westbrook is no joke.

On Thursday, Varo Bank, America’s first all-digital nationally chartered bank, announced that the nine-time NBA All-Star has come on board as both an investor and advisor. In this capacity, he’ll have direct input into the future direction of Varo’s impact programs and the inclusivity of the Black community, as well as communities of color.

“The banking system has ignored or underserved a large portion of the American population—particularly communities of color. I’m passionate about making lasting social change and creating a stronger and more inclusive system,” Westbrook said in a statement provided to The Root. “I am excited and ready to work with Varo to be a part of an economic revitalization for those who never had the access they deserved.”

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Talk that talk, Black man.

Westbrook has already played an integral role by helping the company secure $63 million during its latest investment round, and that money will further support its social impact mission. Varo was created to address financial inequality and issues of access, fairness and fees that have often had a discriminatory legacy. And with the help of the NBA’s Most Valuable Player in 2017, the goal is to deliver premium, affordable banking services to all Americans while ensuring that underserved communities and communities of color receive the same level of quality.

“I know what it’s like to be hit with big bank fees, to be short a few dollars and how it can feel like the difference between success and failure. I know it because I lived it,” Westbrook said in a statement provided to The Root. “I want to help the underserved and underbanked achieve financial health no matter their circumstances. Together we can plan to build financial empowerment for the people and communities who need it most.”

To learn more about Varo Bank, visit their website here.

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