According to their website, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) “charters, regulates, and supervises all national banks and federal savings associations as well as federal branches and agencies of foreign banks. The OCC is an independent bureau of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.” Their stated mission is “(t)o ensure that national banks and federal savings associations operate in a safe and sound manner, provide fair access to financial services, treat customers fairly, and comply with applicable laws and regulations.” So, it was simply a matter of time before they dipped their toe into the whole fintech melee, with their proposed new “Fintech Charter”. This is a story we’ll be watching for some time, we’re sure. (Cindy Taylor/Publisher)
“The concept of a Fintech Charter for emerging firms in the financial services industry has generated plenty of attention on Capitol Hill and with Fintech entrepreneurs. Originally pitched by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency towards the end of last year, a comment period has just closed on the proposal. Both supporters and detractors have added their voice to the ongoing polemic.
Contingent on final requirements, a Fintech Charter could make it easier for innovative firms to provide services to both individuals and businesses across the country. These new services could potentially deliver better financial services at a lower cost.
The US financial industry may be the most powerful in the world but it is challenged by a byzantine regulatory approach that undermines competition and adds cost to consumers. Yet established finance is leery of change and the possibility of new competition from agile Fintech firms that may benefit from a streamlined regulatory ecosystem. Additionally, state regulators, who may see their clout pre-empted under a national Fintech charter, remain concerned about diminishing relevance.”