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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

FDIC encourages more de novo bank applicants, launches initiatives to streamline and promote transparency in deposit insurance applications

Agency Rule-Making & Guidance FDIC Fintech Deposit Insurance

Agency Rule-Making & Guidance

On December 6, the FDIC announced several initiatives designed to streamline and promote transparency in the federal deposit insurance application process, while encouraging more applications from de novo banks. According to FDIC Chairman Jelena McWilliams, the “application process should not be overly burdensome and should not deter prospective banks from applying.” As part of its initiative, the FDIC issued a request for information (RFI) soliciting feedback on all aspects of the deposit insurance application process—the RFI applies  to all institutions, including those with less than $1 billion in total assets, as well as traditional community banks. The RFI seeks comments on: (i) suggestions for modifying the application process as it relates to traditional community banks; (ii) potential ways to “support the continuing evolution of emerging technology and fintech companies . . . [and whether there are] particular risks associated with any such proposals”; (iii) aspects of the application process such as legal, regulatory, economic, or technological factors that may discourage potential applications; and (iv) other suggestions for addressing stakeholder concerns regarding the application process, as well as methods for improving effectiveness, efficiency, and transparency. Comments on the RFI will be accepted for 60 days following publication in the Federal Register.

The FDIC also discussed a new, voluntary process for new deposit insurance applicants to request feedback on draft applications before filing formal submissions. “The new process is intended to provide an early opportunity for both the FDIC and organizers to identify potential challenges with respect to the statutory criteria, areas that may require further detail or support, and potential issues or concerns,” the announcement stated.

In addition to updating publications related to the application process (available through FIL-83-2018), the FDIC also released FIL-81-2018 and FIL-82-2018, which respectively provide application processing timeframe guidelines and an overview of the review process for draft deposit insurance proposals.

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