SoFi Technologies Inc. brought a new fan to Wall Street on Friday as a Bank of America analyst chimed in with a bullish view of the fintech company.

Bank of America’s Mihir Bhatia said he was impressed with SoFi’s SOFI,
range of offerings as the company strives to be a “one stop shop” for financial services. He launched SoFi stock coverage with a buy rating and $17 price target on Friday, writing that SoFi is “not just another neobank.”

SoFi shares rose 4.5% in Friday trading.

According to Bhatia, SoFi’s extensive portfolio, which includes deposit accounts, investment accounts and loan products, is a major strength.

“Customers are exposed to the entire SOFI product ecosystem through an integrated app offering that drives cross-selling and boosts the already attractive unit economics,” he explained. “We believe the strategy is still in its infancy, and as SOFI attracts more users to its superior technology and robust product set, it will deliver attractive revenue and earnings growth.”

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The company recently secured approval for a banking charter, which could provide various benefits by allowing SoFi to fund loans with deposits and lower its funding cost. Additionally, if the company cuts rates for borrowers due to its own lower cost of funds, the move could help boost lending, Bhatia said.

While he predicts SoFi will use the bank charter early on, he also wrote that consensus estimates may not derive many benefits from the charter.

“We believe 2022 benefits will strengthen throughout the year,” he wrote, noting that SoFi could provide more clarity on how the charter could impact near-term results. when it releases fourth quarter results. This report is scheduled for March 1.

Bhatia also likes the company’s Galileo business, which is a payment processing and technology platform. If SoFi uses Galileo itself, various neobanks are also clients of the platform. As such, Galileo provides “competitive hedging” for SoFi as it allows the company to benefit from the growth of the broader neo-banking industry, said Bhatia, who called Galileo a “key differentiator.”

SoFi stocks are down 44% in the past three months, like the S&P 500 SPX,
fell 3.4%.