Acting Comptroller Brooks will focus on responsible innovation, fintech charters
On May 29, Acting Comptroller of the Currency Brian P. Brooks issued a statement focusing on four priorities intended to help meet the challenges facing banks today. As previously covered by InfoBytes, Brooks was named Acting Comptroller following the departure of former Comptroller Joseph Otting. These priorities include building upon responsible innovation to provide regulatory certainty, flexible frameworks, and oversight that will allow banks to “evolve and capitalize on technology and innovation to deliver better products and services, to operate more efficiently, and to reduce risk in the system.” Brooks reiterated that the OCC has the authority to issue bank charters to companies engaged in “the business of banking on a national scale, including taking deposits, lending money, or paying checks,” and emphasized that the OCC will work to “clarify what true lender means, to underscore that the terms of a lawfully made contract remain valid for the duration of that contract even if it is sold by a bank to another investor, and to specify what the parameters of the ‘fintech charter’ and other special purpose charters should be.” The same day the OCC issued a final rule (covered by a Buckley Special Alert), which establishes that when a bank transfers a loan, the interest rate permissible before the transfer will still be valid after the transfer.
Among other topics, Brook also discussed the OCC’s recent issuance of a final rule to strengthen the Community Reinvestment Act (covered by a Buckley Special Alert), stating that the OCC will work to ensure that banks provide “fair access” to all customers and stressing that the agency “should not tolerate lawful entities being denied access to our federal banking system based on their popularity among a powerful few.”