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OCC issues draft supplement to Licensing Manual on banking charter applications from fintech companies

The US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) has provided additional details on evaluating national bank charter applications from financial technology or fintech companies that offer bank products and services.

In December 2016, Comptroller of the Currency Thomas J. Curry has stated that the OCC would move forward with considering applications from fintech companies to become special purpose national banks.

The additional detail has been provided in a draft supplement to the agency’s existing Licensing Manual and builds upon nearly two years of work related to responsible innovation at the agency and is consistent with its guiding principles published in March 2016.

This supplement explains how the OCC will apply the licensing standards and requirements in existing regulations and policies to fintech companies applying for special purpose national bank charters. It also describes unique factors that the agency will consider in evaluating applications from fintech companies; expectations for promoting fair access, fair treatment, and financial inclusion; and the agency’s approach to supervising those fintech companies that become national banks.

The supplement reflects the agency’s careful consideration of comments received on its December 2016 paper discussing issues associated with chartering fintech companies. In the official release, the OCC said that it will accept comments on this document through close of business April 14.

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