D.C. federal district court stays CSBS lawsuit while OCC reviews framework for chartering national banks

Ballard Spahr LLP

Ballard Spahr LLP

The D.C. federal district court hearing the lawsuit filed by the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) seeking to block the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency from granting a national bank charter to Figure Technologies Inc. has entered an order staying the lawsuit.

On June 15, CSBS filed an Unopposed Motion to Stay Litigation in which it referenced Acting Comptroller Hsu’s testimony to the House Financial Services Committee last month in which he indicated that the OCC is currently reviewing the OCC’s framework for chartering national banks.  In the motion, CSBS stated that the OCC has represented that it anticipates this review period will take about 90 days and that it does not intend to take any action towards granting a charter to Figure during this period.  CSBS also stated that a 90-day stay would conserve the parties’ and the court’s resources by avoiding potentially unnecessary briefing and oral argument.

The lawsuit represents CSBS’s third challenge to the OCC’s authority to issue special purpose national bank charters to non-depository fintech companies.  The first two lawsuits were dismissed on ripeness grounds.  In April 2021, the OCC filed a motion to dismiss the current CSBS lawsuit in which the OCC once again argued that CSBS lacks standing and that its claims are not ripe.  That motion is pending before the court.

Although CSBS requested a 90-day stay in its motion, the recital of the order’s terms on the court docket does not expressly limit the stay to 90 days.  The docket also indicates that the parties are required to file a joint status report by September 27, 2021.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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