Note from the Publisher: This is both reassuring and concerning. The Hill is reporting that the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency will be establishing an “innovation” office to oversee fintech within the banking sector. A Chief Innovation Officer will be named (there is already an interim officer identified), and the office is expected to open next March. They also intend to set up a voluntary pilot program, similar to the innovation labs that several larger banks have already established, to test fintech products before launching. Now the reassuring part is that FINALLY there will be some guidelines coming down so the financial technology industry has a more clear understanding of what they can and cannot do under a regulatory framework. The CONCERNING part, as always, is that the regulators don’t over-regulate and kill innovation. More to come on this story as it unfolds.
“Banks will soon be able to coordinate their financial technology plans with a top regulator.
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) said it would establish an ‘innovation’ office in 2017 as it boosts oversight of financial technology at the more than 1,300 banks it supervises.
A chief innovation officer based in Washington will lead the unit, which is expected to launch by next March. The agency named Beth Knickerbocker as acting chief innovation officer.
The unit would also have staff located in two technology hubs: New York and San Francisco.
Banks will be able to contact the office for requests and information on financial technology.
The OCC has taken the lead among regulators on financial technology, or “fintech,” by laying out a framework aimed at ensuring that banks develop safe new products and services.
Comptroller Thomas Curry said the innovation office would help promote financial technology, such as mobile applications and online services, aimed at serving and protecting customers.”