With recent support from Treasury, the OCC has announced it will begin accepting applications for its federal FinTech Charter, and idea under consideration for some time but never before formalized.
A U.S. bank regulator said it would start accepting national charter applications from financial technology companies, giving so-called fintech firms a path to federal oversight for the first time. The decision came hours after the Treasury Department endorsed the approach. Effective immediately, the OCC will accept applications from non-depository fintech companies for a special purpose national bank charter. The regulator said successful applicants would be supervised similarly to comparable banks, and companies must provide a contingency plan for how they would navigate financial stress that could threaten their operations. There is no current federal regulatory regime for fintech firms, meaning online lenders must seek licenses in every state they wish to operate, an onerous and expensive process, or partner with traditional banks. The OCC charter would allow fintech firms to operate independently across the country under a single federal license.