A key US banking regulator is set to develop a framework for governing new fintech startups, according to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), which oversees the national bank chartering system in the US, is to issue a white paper this week, subtitled 'Responsible Innovation', as the first step in its plan to develop a mechanism for approving new fintech business ideas.
Although the fintech market continues to grow, it has been largely unadressed by specific regulations in the US leaving both traditional banks and new startups unsure as to the compliance status of their new ventures. In contrast the UK watchdog the Financial Conduct Authority launched Project Innovate in 2015 which is designed to offer regulatory guidance to companies launching new fintech products.
The OCC hopes that it can develop a framework whereby companies can have a single point of entry to submit new business ideas and the regulator can itself establish a clear policy on how to assess these applications. "What we're talking about is understanding these different models rather than saying 'no' right off the bat," said Amy Friend, chief counsel for the OCC in an interview with the WSJ.
Elsewhere Japan's Financial Services Authority is easing the restrictions on investing in financial ventures in order to boost its lagging fintech market which attracted just $44m in investment in the first nine months of 2015. By comparison, China and the US raised $2.7bn and $7.4bn respectively during 2015.