The OCC Fintech Charter was formally proposed back in December 2016. Along with many other organizations we responded to their proposal in January of last year. Then a couple of months later the OCC released details on what the fintech charter might entail. Since then not much has happened. Until today.
Of course, the OCC went through a leadership transition with the new administration as former Comptroller of the Currency, Thomas Curry, ended his term in May, 2017. The OCC had a temporary leader, Keith Noreika, for six months until the current Comptroller, Joseph Otting, was sworn in. That was back in November and now eight months later the OCC has finally announced that they will begin accepting applications from fintech companies for this special purpose national bank charter. Here is what Comptroller Otting said about their new charter (from the press release):
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. The decision to consider applications for special purpose national bank charters from innovative companies helps provide more choices to consumers and businesses, and creates greater opportunity for companies that want to provide banking services in America.