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FinTech Updates: OCC and Treasury

by BAFT Admin | Jul 31, 2018
Two important developments in U.S. financial services innovation occurred July 31, 2018: (1) The Department of the Treasury issued a long-awaited report on fintech and innovation in the financial system and (2) the OCC announced that it will begin accepting applications for national bank charters from fintech companies engaged in the business of banking.
US Treasury Issues FinTech Report and OCC Moves Forward with FinTech Charter

Two important developments in U.S. financial services innovation occurred July 31, 2018:  (1) The Department of the Treasury issued a long-awaited report on fintech and innovation in the financial system and (2) the OCC announced that it will begin accepting applications for national bank charters from fintech companies engaged in the business of banking. 

The Treasury’s report, entitled “A Financial System that Creates Economic Opportunities:  Nonbank Financials, Fintech, and Innovation,” contains over 80 recommendations designed to facilitate U.S. firm innovation by streamlining and refining the regulatory environment. These improvements should enable U.S. firms to more rapidly adopt competitive technologies, safeguard consumer data, and operate with greater regulatory efficiency. 

Many of BAFT’s advocacy positions regarding innovation are reflected in the Treasury’s recommendations, including:

  • Streamlining the regulatory environment to foster innovation and avoid fragmentation;
  • Modernizing regulations for emerging technologies and new financial products, services, and business models; and   
  • Facilitating experimentation by establishing “regulatory sandboxes,” promoting increased engagement by financial regulators, and  encouraging cooperation and alignment between U.S. regulators and their foreign counterparts.   

The OCC’s decision to consider applications for special purpose national bank charters from innovative companies is documented in a policy statement and supplement to the OCC’s “Comptroller’s Licensing Manual.” BAFT supports the OCC’s offering of such charters because they  provide companies with the option to launch on a national scale, and promote innovation, competition, and financial inclusion, while also  ensuring the safety and soundness of the financial system by holding all special purpose national banks to similar standards. 

You may find a copy of the Treasury’s press release, report, and fact sheet here.  You may find a copy of the OCC’s press release, policy statement, and manual here.

For questions, please send them to info@baft.org