OCC to host 'innovation office hours'

OCC to host 'innovation office hours'

Hot on the heels of its decision to start accepting fintech charter applications, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) is reaching out to the industry, inviting interested parties to come in to its New York offices for a chat during 'innovation office hours'.

Firms can schedule hour-long one-on-one meetings with OCC officials to discuss financial technology, new products or services, partnering with a bank or fintech company, or "other matters related to responsible innovation in the federal banking system".

The offer is a short-term initiative, with firms having until 17 August to request a meeting, which will then take place between 25 and 27 September.

The office hours plan comes a week after the OCC confirmed that it is set to start accepting applications for national bank charters from non-depository fintech firms, opening up a new country-wide regulatory route for startups.

The move received the backing of the US Treasury in its recent fintech report but is fiercely opposed by State regulators, not least in New York, where the innovation meetings will take place.

Last week Maria Vullo, NYDFS superintendent, said that the fintech charter "is clearly not authorised under the National Bank Act. As DFS has noted since the OCC’s proposal, a national fintech charter will impose an entirely unjustified federal regulatory scheme on an already fully functional and deeply rooted state regulatory landscape."

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