On July 31, the OCC announced that the agency will begin accepting national bank charter applications from fintech companies—nondepository financial technology companies engaged in any of the enumerated core banking functions. This decision follows the solicitation and review of public comments in December 2016 and March 2017.
On the same day, the OCC published a policy statement and supplement to the OCC’s Comptroller’s Licensing Manual to document the decision to open the national bank charter to fintech companies. The OCC, in announcing the decision, emphasized the following five points from these two publications:
“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,” said Comptroller of the Currency Joseph M. Otting. He continued, “Providing a path for fintech companies to become national banks can make the federal banking system stronger by promoting economic growth and opportunity, modernization and innovation, and competition. It also provides consumers greater choice, can promote financial inclusion, and creates a more level playing field for financial services competition.”
The OCC announcement and related publications are accessible here.