In remarks, Comptroller offers informal reg reform timetable for CRA, AML/BSA, fintech charter, Volcker rule

A timetable of sorts for addressing key regulatory reforms – including those related to bank lending in lower-income communities, anti-money laundering efforts and chartering of companies that provide financial services via the Internet – were outlined by the national bank regulator in remarks Monday.

Speaking at a conference in Washington hosted by the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA), Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting said:

CRA (two to four weeks): Otting said a joint document addressing reforms for implementing the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) would be released in two to four weeks by his agency (the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency [OCC]), with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) and the Federal Reserve (Fed). He indicated the document would ask for input on what CRA changes are recommended. CRA is an anti-redlining statute meant to force banks to invest (for example, through lending) in the areas in which they operate their facilities.

AML/BSA (“next couple of weeks”): On revisions to regulations addressing anti-money laundering (AML) efforts and implementing the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), Otting told the audience at the meeting of the bankers’ trade group that his agency would suggest to the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) some items for relief “in the next couple of weeks.”

Volcker rule (“next month or so”): Further, Otting told the group, the OCC would recommend proposed changes within “the next month or so” to the “Volcker rule” (which prohibits a bank from investing on its own account). In early March, Federal Reserve Vice Chairman for Supervision Randal Quarles said his agency is working with other agencies holding Volcker rule responsibilities to develop a proposal for public comment that would make material changes to the Volcker rule regulations.

Fintech (two to three months): In other comments, Otting said his agency in the next two to three months would voice its position about whether a financial technology company (“fintech”) should be able to apply for a bank-like charter. That license would allow companies offering online lending and other financial services to operate nationally while adhering to federal banking standards.