Traditional banks and lenders may soon see some increased competition from actors in the financial technology industry. As we previously discussed, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) has led the regulatory charge by inviting so-called “fintech” companies to apply for special purpose national bank charters. Soon after this invitation was extended in 2016, the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (consisting of state banking regulators) filed a lawsuit in 2017 hoping to block the OCC’s fintech charter, but the lawsuit was dismissed in 2018. With that lawsuit behind it, the OCC recently announced that it will begin accepting applications for special purpose charters from non-depository fintech companies, such as online lenders and payments companies.
The OCC’s announcement will likely stir up some strong feelings among those in the traditional banking and lending industries hoping to preserve the status quo. Here are a few things we can expect from the announcement: Continue Reading