CSBS Sues OCC Over FinTech Charters
The Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) filed a lawsuit on April 26th seeking declaratory and injunctive relief against the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s (OCC) recent FinTech chartering system. In its complaint, the CSBS voiced concerns over the proposed charters’ effect on enforcement of state consumer protection laws by establishing special purpose national banks out of fintech companies.
At the core of the dispute is whether or not the National Bank Act (NBA) applies to companies that perform some bank functions, like lending, but do not receive deposits. Comptroller Thomas Curry argues that the NBA grants the OCC authority to issue special bank charters to companies that engage in any aspect of banking. The CSBS are asking the court to declare that the OCC lacks the power to issue charters to non-deposit receiving financial institutions.
Depending on the jurisdiction, lenders are regulated by a collection of state, federal, and tribal laws. If an institution were to secure a FinTech charter from the OCC, it would exempt that company from state regulation and bring it under the federal regulatory umbrella.