Keynote Address: The Whys and Hows of the OCC’s New Fintech Charter
Thomas J. Curry
Comptroller of the Currency, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)
Washington Bureau Chief, American Banker
When Comptroller of the Currency Thomas Curry announced the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) would move forward with making special purpose national bank charters available to fintech companies that provide banking products and services, he did so to expand financial inclusion, empower consumers, enhance consumer protection, promote choice, and help families and businesses take more control of their financial matters. The decision also allows the federal banking system to continue to adapt to the evolving needs and preferences of its customers and to developing technologies. That decision has been met by a variety of support, concerns, and questions. While generally supportive, fintech companies wonder if the work of obtaining the charter will be worth the reward. Community banks are concerned that a special purpose charter may give fintech companies an unfair advantage. Others have questioned the OCC’s authority to grant such charters and the impact on state regulatory authority. In this keynote, Comptroller Curry will discuss the OCC’s thinking behind the decisions and how the agency will proceed.