Archives: Fintech

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FDIC Renews Focus on De Novo Charters

On December 6, 2018, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) released a series of documents relating to the process for chartering a de novo FDIC-insured depository institution. A request for information (“RFI”) on all aspects of the FDIC’s deposit insurance application process. The RFI seeks comments on the transparency and efficiency of the application process, … Continue Reading

Intellectual Property Issues in Blockchain and FinTech

FinTech and blockchain technologies are rapidly developing. With the emergence of so many new ideas and technologies comes the need for action, to protect both current and future innovations. Given the pace at which technology continues to disrupt the industry, securing IP assets—especially patents—should be a primary consideration for companies in this space. As the … Continue Reading

CFTC Issues Primer on Smart Contracts

The CFTC’s LabCFTC recently released “A Primer on Smart Contracts” as part of LabCFTC’s initiative to engage with stakeholders on FinTech topics. The primer explains smart contracts, and explores their potential benefits — with a particular focus on the financial sector — and challenges. The CFTC has an interest in smart contracts because, as the … Continue Reading

State Regulators Renew OCC Suit Over Fintech Charter

On October 25, 2018, the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (“CSBS”) filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia to stop the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) from issuing special purpose national bank charters to fintech companies.  The lawsuit follows a similar suit against the OCC by … Continue Reading

Governor Brainard Discusses Financial Inclusion, Fintech, and Reforms to the Community Reinvestment Act

On October 17, 2018, Federal Reserve Board Governor Lael Brainard discussed the potential for financial innovation, and in particular, fintech products and services, to foster financial inclusion of underserved families and small businesses.  She has frequently addressed the importance of fintech, including cryptocurrencies, digital currencies and distributed ledger technologies and the role of banks in … Continue Reading

OCC Reaffirms Willingness To Accept and Grant Special Purpose Charters to Fintech Companies

On October 9, 2018, Grovetta Gardineer, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s (“OCC’s”) senior deputy comptroller for compliance and community affairs, reaffirmed the OCC’s willingness to accept applications from fintech companies seeking a special purpose national bank charter and grant such applications if the application meets certain requirements. These remarks, which were made … Continue Reading

CFTC and Monetary Authority of Singapore Sign Cooperation Agreement on FinTech Innovation

Late last week, the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced a cooperation agreement on FinTech innovation.  The agreement is principally focused on information sharing on FinTech trends and developments and on each regulator’s FinTech sandboxes. The agreement could also, however, help FinTech companies move more easily between the … Continue Reading

NYSDFS Sues to Block the OCC’s Special Purpose National Bank Charters for Fintech Companies

On September 14, 2018, Superintendent of the New York State Department of Financial Services (“NYSDFS”) Maria T. Vullo filed a complaint in federal court against the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) to block the OCC from issuing any special purpose national bank (“SPNB”) charters. The OCC announced last month, after much … Continue Reading

Arizona Fintech Sandbox Begins Accepting Applications

Arizona recently became the first state in the U.S. to create a “regulatory sandbox” program to facilitate the development of innovative financial products and services. Such products would either incorporate new or emerging technology or reimagine uses of existing technology. The program would exempt participants from certain state financial regulations, but not federal requirements. On … Continue Reading

Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Announces Participation in the Global Financial Innovation Network

The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection announced earlier this week that it would join ten non-US financial regulators in an alliance, called the Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN), to encourage the growth of fintech — and, potentially, create a “global sandbox” for financial innovation. The alliance was initially proposed, in February 2018, by the UK’s … Continue Reading

Treasury Releases Report on Nonbank Institutions, Fintech, and Innovation

On July 31, 2018, the U.S. Department of the Treasury released a report identifying numerous recommendations intended to promote constructive activities by nonbank financial institutions, embrace financial technology (“fintech”), and encourage innovation. This is the fourth and final report issued by Treasury pursuant to Executive Order 13772, which established certain Core Principles designed to inform … Continue Reading

The OCC Will Move Forward to Accept Applications for Special Purpose National Bank Charters for Fintech Companies

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) announced yesterday that a nondepository financial technology (“fintech”) company that engages in a core banking activity, such as paying checks or lending money, can now apply for a special purpose national bank (“SPNB”) charter. This announcement followed shortly after the release of the Treasury Department’s report … Continue Reading

European Data Protection Board Provides Clarification On PSD2

In response to questions from a Member of the European Parliament, the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) has provided much needed clarification on the overlap between the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the EU Payment Services Directive (PSD2) in an open letter.  As we identified in a previous blog post on this topic, the … Continue Reading

The GDPR and Blockchain

Blockchain technology has the potential to revolutionise many industries; it has been said that “blockchain will do to the financial system what the internet did to media”.  Its most famous use is its role as the architecture of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, however it has many other potential uses in the financial sector, for instance in … Continue Reading

FSB Develops Framework for Monitoring Crypto Risks

On July 16, 2018, the Financial Stability Board (“FSB”) issued a report to the G20 Ministers of Finance and Central Bank Governors summarizing the work that the FSB and other international standard-setting bodies have undertaken regarding crypto-assets.  The FSB notably reported that it has developed a framework for monitoring financial stability risks related to crypto-assets, … Continue Reading

Square Temporarily Withdraws ILC Application

On July 5, 2018, Square, Inc. (“Square”) announced (paywall) that it had temporarily withdrawn a pending application with the FDIC to obtain deposit insurance for a proposed industrial loan company (“ILC”), in order to strengthen the application before reapplying. The company stated that a parallel application with the Utah Department of Financial Institutions for the … Continue Reading

German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority Publishes Guidance on the Regulatory Framework for Cloud Services

The German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (“BaFin”) recently published an article that provides guidance on the regulatory framework for cloud computing.  This is a follow-up to the circular letter Minimum Requirements for Risk Management (“MaRisk”), which was published in German in October 2017 and the circular letter Supervisory Requirements for IT in Financial Institutions (“BAIT”), … Continue Reading

The CFTC’s Active Week: Virtual Currencies in Focus

This past week has been an especially active one for the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). On Monday, in a speech to the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), CFTC Chairman Giancarlo announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to increase cooperation between state securities regulators and the CFTC — particularly with respect to prosecuting … Continue Reading

CFTC Issues Advisory Regarding Virtual Currency Derivatives

Earlier this week, the CFTC published a staff advisory regarding virtual currency derivative product listings. The guidance sets forth five areas of focus for exchanges and clearinghouses in listing a new virtual currency derivatives contract pursuant to Commission Regulation 40.2 or 40.3, including: (1) enhanced market surveillance, (2) coordination with CFTC staff, (3) large trader … Continue Reading

Cboe Contributes to Ongoing Discussion Regarding Cryptocurrency ETPs

Last month, Cboe Global Markets, Inc. (“Cboe”) responded to a staff letter on cryptocurrency funds and related investment products published by the SEC earlier this year. The SEC staff letter recognized that proponents of cryptocurrencies have identified a range of potential benefits and that innovation is important, but the SEC also identified a number of … Continue Reading

Arizona Creates Sandbox Program for Fintech

Arizona recently became the first state in the U.S. to create a “regulatory sandbox” program to facilitate the development of innovative financial products and services, which either incorporate new or emerging technology or reimagine uses of existing technology. Arizona H.B. 2434 requires the State Attorney General to establish a sandbox program to which entrepreneurs may … Continue Reading

GAO Publishes Report on Fintech Regulation

On March 22, 2018, the Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) issued a report on the regulation of financial technology (“fintech”) in response to a request from Congress for more information on “fintech activities.” The report concludes that agencies that regulate fintech firms should coordinate with each other more closely, develop offices of innovation (for agencies that … Continue Reading

Overlap Between the GDPR and PSD2

The Payment Services Directive (PSD2), which took effect on January 13, 2018, puts an obligation on banks to give Third Party Providers (TPPs) access to a customer’s payment account data, provided the customer expressly consents to such disclosure. The new legislation is intended to improve competition and innovation in the EU market for payment services. … Continue Reading
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