For Immediate Release
January 17, 2017
ABA Media Contact: Sarah Grano
(202) 663-5470
Email: sgrano@aba.com
Follow us on Twitter: @ABABankers

ABA Supports Consistent Rules, Oversight in New OCC Fintech Charter

​WASHINGTON — In a letter to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency today, the American Bankers Association expressed support of a limited purpose national bank charter for fintech companies as long as existing rules are applied evenly and fairly, and with effective oversight.
 
The letter, signed by Rob Morgan, ABA’s vice president, emerging technologies, emphasized the significant benefits of financial innovation for consumers including improved transparency, more available credit and financial inclusion. “These benefits are only realized when innovations are delivered responsibly, as ensured by regulation and oversight,” said Morgan.
 
 Morgan pointed out that consumers do not differentiate between financial service providers and expect the same level of protection regardless of the provider.
 
“To customers, a loan is a loan and a payment is a payment,” he said. “Federal law provides for numerous protections for consumers when they borrow, and they expect this same level of protection in all financial services interactions.”
 
In the letter, Morgan emphasized that effective implementation was of utmost importance and was critical to ABA’s support of this new charter. He encouraged the OCC to carefully consider the parameters of the charter. “This includes answering many difficult questions before granting any special purpose charter, including how to ensure that regulations and consumer protection are applied evenly; what protections must be in place to preserve existing laws regarding the separation of banking and commerce; and how would enforcement of operating agreements be accomplished, particularly those related to financial inclusion or other CRA-like responsibilities.”
 
The letter raises regulatory issues like capital requirements, liquidity and governance structure, recommendations for effective oversight and charter responsibilities. Morgan also urged the OCC to work with other agencies “carefully and cooperatively before any new charter is approved to assure that no current policy lines are directly or inadvertently moved as a consequence of this action.”
 
“ABA views the OCC’s intent to issue charters as an opportunity to further bring exciting financial technology into the banking system, ensuring that innovative products are offered in a safe and responsible manner that customers can trust,” he said. 
 
Click here for the letter.
 
The American Bankers Association is the voice of the nation’s $16 trillion banking industry, which is composed of small, regional and large banks that together employ more than 2 million people, safeguard $12 trillion in deposits and extend more than $8 trillion in loans.
 
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