OCC Update

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) has pushed ahead with its controversial charter for new financial technology—also known as fintech—companies. Last week, the bank regulator issued new guidance for its limited-purpose bank charter, primarily for fintech firms, releasing standards that the startups must meet to obtain one. This was done in defiance of House Republicans and drew immediate resistance from state banking regulators.

As you may recall, Texas Banking Commissioner Cooper wrote an op-ed about this a few weeks ago.

The Conference of State Bank Supervisors, for which Commissioner Cooper currently serves as Chair, has once again been very vocal about its objection to this move by the OCC, citing the dangerous precedent it sets and that it goes beyond the legal limits of its authority. A main concern to many is that the charter would erode state consumer protections, destabilize banking regulations and introduce new forms of risk to both consumers and taxpayers. The OCC has announced a 30-day comment period that ends mid-April.

"IBAT remains concerned about the potential implications of a national bank charter for nonbank entities,” said IBAT Executive Vice President Steve Scurlock. "This is a dramatic departure from ‘business as usual,’ and we will weigh in with a comment letter over the next several weeks.”

Staff contact: Steve Scurlock, sscurlock@ibat.org, 512-275-2206