Financial Institutions

On July 31st, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) announced that it would begin accepting applications for a special purpose national bank charter (“FinTech Charter”) from nonbank financial technology companies that offer bank products and services, meet the OCC’s chartering requirements (the “FinTech Charter Policy Statement”) and adhere to the OCC’s supplemental Licensing Manual (the “Comptroller’s Manual Supplement” or the “Supplement”).  Hours earlier, the Treasury Department released its fourth and final report in response to President Trump’s Executive Order 13772.  The report, entitled “A Financial System That Creates Economic Opportunities: Nonbank Financials, Fintech, and Innovation”, recommends that the OCC move forward with the FinTech Charter.

While the OCC announced it would begin accepting applications, it did not answer some key questions about the new FinTech Charter.  Among those questions is what businesses will be permissible in the FinTech Charter?  Neither the OCC’s statement nor the Comptroller’s Manual Supplement defined the permissible businesses for FinTech Charters.  Follow-up discussions have confirmed that payments and other similar businesses are considered in scope, but that no final decision has been made by the OCC on whether the new FinTech Charter will be available for virtual currency-focused businesses.

Please click here to read the full alert memorandum.

On July 31st, the Treasury Department (“Treasury”) released its fourth and final report in response to President Trump’s Executive Order 13772.  The report, entitled “A Financial System That Creates Economic Opportunities: Nonbank Financials, Fintech, and Innovation” (the “Report”), only briefly addresses distributed ledger technologies, blockchain and digital assets, but takes broad aim at perceived regulatory challenges to innovation.  The Report argues for a significant rethinking of state and federal regulation across data access, licensing, payments and many other issues. Continue Reading Treasury Report Recommends More Consistent Regulation to Spur Innovation

Today, Treasury released its long-awaited FinTech report entitled “A Financial System That Creates Economic Opportunities: Nonbank Financials, Fintech, and Innovation”. While the report provided only a very truncated discussion of distributed ledger technologies, blockchain, and digital assets, it discussed at length other key innovation and technology issues that are impacting the market for financial services. While DLT and digital assets appropriately garner many headlines, the innovative potential of new technologies for how financial services are accessed, delivered, bundled, analyzed, marketed, and regulated offers great opportunities as well as risks. The focus of the Treasury FinTech report on these fundamental issues no doubt will spur even more examination of our changing financial environment. Continue Reading Treasury Releases FinTech Report, and OCC Immediately Relaunches a National FinTech Charter