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Fintech Charters No More?

Good morning, all. It is Tuesday in Grand Rapids. Just last week I was in Belgium and snapped some photos of the beautiful city of Ghent, here is one of my favorite.

Ghent, Belgium

Last year I posted that the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) announced it will begin accepting applications for national bank charters from fintech companies In July 2018.

Joseph M. Ottin, Comptroller of the Currency gave the following remarks concerning Fintech Companies:

“The federal banking system must continue to evolve and embrace innovation to meet the changing customer needs and serve as a source of strength for the nation’s economy,” 

Mr. Ottin also commented that accepting applications from Fintech Companies:

helps provide more choices to consumers and businesses, and creates greater opportunity for companies that want to provide banking services in America.”

You can read the full press release here.

Fintech recap…

The prior OCC, Thomas Curry announced in 2017 that OCC would move forward with considering applications from financial technology (fintech) companies to become special purpose national banks.

“The OCC published a paper discussing the issues and conditions that the agency will consider in granting special purpose national bank charters.” You can check that paper out here

What’s made clear from the press release is that “[e]very application will be evaluated on its unique facts and circumstances.

Fintech Charter: Praise, Debate, Criticism and a Lawsuit.

The propriety of a Fintech charter has been supported by the Fintech community in general.

As previously reported by Crowdfund InsiderBrian Peters, Executive Director of Financial Innovation Now  “a public policy coalition comprised of Amazon, Apple, Google, Intuit and PayPal” stated;

“FIN believes that payments and lending regulation needs streamlining for the modern era. We commend the

OCC’s leadership and vision in driving this regulatory discussion. The OCC has rightly concluded that its approach must evolve to ensure that all American consumers and small businesses are empowered with better access to the benefits of financial technology.”

According to Crowdfund Insider  “Fintech Charter could benefit innovative financial firms that can provide superior services at a lower cost for both consumers and businesses.”

That being said, the propriety of such action by the OCC has been questioned by others, and officially sued by the Conference of State Bank Supervisors as an “unprecedented, unlawful expansion of the chartering authority”- check out the Press Release from the CSBS back in April of last year.

Fintech Charters Overturned by Federal Court.

Well it appears a federal court recently sided with the CSBS. I recently read an article by Attorney Daniel S. Cohen from K&L Gates informing that a Federal Court struck down the Fintech Charter.

Why Fintech Intrigues me – Purpose Driven.

Regardless of how the appellate courts ultimately rule on Fintech Charters, I’ve previously talked about why fintech is so intriguing.

I’ve highlighted some fintech companies doing unique things in the past, like Lemonade.

a. taking a risk doing something different (being an innovator);

b. disrupting business as usual;

c. for the good of others (being mission driven).

That’s social entrepreneurship at its finest.

Questions? Comments?

e-mail: Jeshua@dwlawpc.com

http://www.dwlawpc.com

Twitter: @JeshuaTLauka

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