Fintech charter comes closer with proposed manual supplement

Another step in granting federal banking charters to financial technology companies (fintech) was taken today with the release of a draft licensing manual supplement by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC).

According to a release from the OCC, the proposed supplement to the agency’s existing Licensing Manual explains how the agency will apply licensing standards and requirements in existing regulations and policies to fintech companies applying for special-purpose national bank charters.

“The supplement also describes unique factors that the agency will consider in evaluating applications from fintech companies,” the release states, including “expectations for promoting fair access, fair treatment, and financial inclusion; and the agency’s approach to supervising those fintech companies that become national banks.”

OCC stated that work on the supplement (related to the agency’s “responsible innovation” efforts) has been on-going for about two years. “The supplement also reflects the agency’s careful consideration of comments received on its December 2016 paper discussing issues associated with chartering fintech companies,” OCC added.

The agency said it would accept comments on the draft supplement through April 14.

OCC Issues Draft Licensing Manual Supplement for Evaluating Charter Applications From Financial Technology Companies, Will Accept Comments Through April 14

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