OCC Explores Special Purpose National Bank Charter for Fintech Companies

By Judith E. RinearsonAnthony R.G. NolanRebecca H. Laird and Jeremy M. McLaughlin

On December 2, 2016, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) announced its plans to move forward with a proposal to consider applications from financial technology (“fintech”) companies to receive charters as special purpose national banks. The OCC simultaneously released a white paper detailing the program. The OCC is seeking comments on its proposal, including responses to 13 specific questions listed in the paper. The announcement is potentially significant for the fintech sector, but questions remain as to whether a special bank charter would represent a fundamental change or merely an incremental enhancement. The comment period ends on January 15, 2017.

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