November 08, 2018

Fintechs going through OCC's charter process

Otting at Fintech Week
Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting (right) discusses fintech issues during DC Fintech Week, attended by NAFCU. (NAFCU photo)

Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting said Wednesday at a NAFCU-attended event that Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) would likely reveal special-purpose national bank charters applications from fintech companies by the end of the year or early 2019. The agency in July said it would move forward with the charters – a move supported by NAFCU.

Otting said there are a number of fintechs that have submitted applications for the charters. NAFCU has offered its support for the concept of special-purpose national bank charters, saying that "fintech companies require a minimum level of regulation and supervision to ensure a level playing field."

Otting was speaking at DC Fintech Week; NAFCU Senior Counsel for Research and Policy Andrew Morris has attended various sessions throughout the week. NAFCU Regulatory and Legislative Assistant Sarah Jacobs was also at Wednesday's event, which also featured a discussion on using alternative data to improve financial inclusion.

NAFCU acknowledges that fintech can produce real benefits to consumers, including increased speed, convenience and new product offerings that make it easier for them to manage their financial lives. However, the association has urged lawmakers and regulators to ensure a level playing field between fintech companies and financial institutions, from data security to consumer protection.