After less than three months in business, a bank startup funded by billionaire Donald Trump supporter Peter Thiel and marketed as “anti-woke” for “pro-freedom” Americans is closing its doors. The bank, GloriFi, burned through $50 million in investment funds, fired off the majority of its personnel on Monday and informed employees that it would be closing down, according to the first story from The Wall Street Journal. Last Friday, hoped-for funds that would have kept the operation going fell through.
The website of GloriFi advised users that “We will be cancelling all accounts registered to date.” Savings accounts closed on December 6 and checking accounts on Friday. For customers who find Wall Street too liberal, GloriFi has been promoted as an alternative conservative banking system.
According to a Journal profile of the business earlier this year, Toby Neugebauer, an entrepreneur and significant GOP donor, and his business partner Nick Ayers, the chief of staff for former Vice President Mike Pence, claimed that a sizable market of plumbers, electricians, and police officers was fed up with big banks that didn’t share their values.
According to the Journal, GloriFi promoted capitalism, family, law enforcement, and the freedom to “love of God and nation”, along with bank accounts, credit cards, and plans to offer mortgages and insurance. According to Rolling Stone, Neugebauer also promoted ideas like credit cards fashioned out of shell casings, reductions on homeowners insurance, and help with legal costs for people who use firearms for self-defence.
Candace Owens, a right-wing broadcaster, served as the company spokesman. Along with Thiel, the business attracted investors, including Ken Griffin, the founder of Citadel, and Kelly Loeffler, a former Georgia Republican senator.
However, within months, GloriFi missed launch dates, alleging poor technology and vendor issues, and, according to news accounts, investors’ money was almost completely gone. According to a statement on the business’ website, “financial issues due to initial missteps, the failing economy, reputational attacks, and numerous unfavourable stories took their toll.”