Posted March 15, 2017
OCC Issues Draft Licensing Manual Supplement for Evaluating Fintech Charter Applications
On March 15, 2017, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) took one additional step closer to allowing fintech companies the opportunity to apply for a special purpose national bank charter. The agency released a draft licensing manual supplement that explains how the OCC will apply the licensing standards in existing regulations to fintech companies that seek a charter through the process. It also describes some of the factors the agency will consider in the application process and lays out the agency’s approach to ongoing supervision. The OCC will accept comments on the supplement through April 14.
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Raphael Bostic Named as Next President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
On March 13, 2017, the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta announced that Raphael Bostic will serve as the bank’s next president, becoming the first African-American to lead one of the Fed's regional banks.
Bostic, 50, is a professor at the University of Southern California and previously held posts at HUD and the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. He is succeeding Dennis Lockhart, who retired in February.
House Republicans Ask Comptroller Curry to Delay Fintech Charter Guidance
On March 10, 2017, Republicans on the House Financial Services Committee sent a letter to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency urging Comptroller Tom Curry to hold off on finalization of principles for a limited purpose bank charter for fintech firms. The letter objects to finalization of the policy given the April 12 expiration of Curry’s term. Specifically, “If the OCC proceeds in haste to create a new policy for 'fintech' charters without providing the details for additional comment, or rushing to finalize the charter prior to the confirmation of a new comptroller, please be aware that we will work with our colleagues to ensure that Congress will examine the OCC’s actions and, if appropriate, overturn them,” the letter reads.
CFPB Proposes Prepaid Accounts Rule Effective Date Extension
On March 9, 2017, the CFPB issued a proposed rule with request for public comment that would delay the Oct. 1, 2017 effective date of the rule governing Prepaid Accounts Under the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (Regulation E) and the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z) (the Prepaid Accounts Final Rule) by six months.
The proposed rule is in response to industry concerns that prepaid industry participants will have difficulty complying with the rule by the Oct. 1, 2017 date. Comments on the proposal will be due 21 days after it is published in the Federal Register.
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House Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means Committees Release ACA Repeal Legislation with Administrative Simplification Intact
On March 6, 2017, The Energy & Commerce and the Ways & Means Committees each released their parts of the ACA repeal and replace effort. Section 1104, which called out the ACH Network as the EFT Standard in healthcare payments, was left intact. Both Committees will be marking up their respective bills on March 8, at 10:30 a.m. The Budget Committee will combine the separate bills into one package before sending to the House floor.
Federal Reserve Governor Powell Gives Remarks on Faster Payments Taskforce
On March 3, 2017, Federal Reserve Governor Powell indicated in remarks to the Yale University Center for Corporate Law, that the Fed's Faster Payments Task Force will issue its final report “in the middle of the year”, presumably this summer. He reaffirms the Fed’s commitment to a more efficient real-time payments system and urges the industry and other stakeholders to continue the work of bringing ubiquitous real-time payments systems and services to the U.S. market.
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