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U.S. regulator to publish fintech charter position in next few months

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In the next three months, the head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) of the US is expected to publish its position on a proposed charter for online lenders and other so-called fintech companies.

The previous U.S Comptroller of the currency, Thomas Curry had published a charter which allowed fintech companies to do business nationally. The fintech community has been watching closely to see if Joseph Otting, the current appointed U.S. Comptroller of the Currency in November, would push ahead with this charter.

 Otting said at a conference in Washington hosted by the Independent Community Bankers of America that the regulator was aiming to publish its position on the charter within the next 60 to 90 days.

“We haven’t concluded on the position and we welcome people’s feedback. But I would say that if we did allow fintech to be regulated, they would be subject to the same rules and regulations as other banks,” said Otting, who is the first former banker to lead the OCC in decades.

 The fintech charter had been on hold amid legal challenges from state regulators that directly license fintech firms but have said an OCC charter would exceed the agency’s mandate.

One of those suits, brought by the New York Department of Financial Services, was dismissed by a Manhattan federal judge in December, while another brought by the Conference of State Bank Supervisors is still pending.

Otting also told the audience of community bankers that the agency would be releasing a consultation within the next month on updating the Community Reinvestment Act.

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