Tag Archives: Fintech

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

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

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

FinCEN Extends Regulations to Initial Coin Offerings

On March 6, 2018, the Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) released its response to Senator Ron Wyden’s (D-OR) request for information relating to FinCEN’s oversight and enforcement of virtual currency activities.  In the letter, FinCEN outlined its intent to regulate certain operators of initial coin offerings (“ICOs”) as money transmitters subject … Continue Reading

FCC: Bitcoin Mining Equipment is Causing Interference to T-Mobile in Brooklyn

Yesterday, the Federal Communications Commission sent a letter to an individual in Brooklyn, New York, alleging that a device in the individual’s residence that is being used to mine Bitcoin is generating spurious radiofrequency emissions, causing interference to a portion of T-Mobile’s mobile telephone and broadband network. The letter states that on November 30, 2017, … Continue Reading

CSBS Announces Multi-State Compact to Standardize Money Transmitter Licensing

On February 6, 2018, the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (“CSBS”) – the nationwide organization representing banking regulators from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands – announced that seven states have agreed to a compact that standardizes five major areas of the licensing process for money … Continue Reading

CFPB Issues Principles for Consumer-Authorized Access of Financial Data

On October 18, 2017, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued “Consumer Protection Principles” for protecting consumers’ interests in the context of consumer-authorized data sharing and aggregation. The principles are related to the Request for Information that the Bureau issued in connection with section 1033 of the Dodd-Frank Act late last year. The Consumer Protection Principles … Continue Reading

CFPB Issues its First No-Action Letter

On September 14, 2017, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (the “CFPB” or the “Bureau”) issued a no-action letter for the first time, after having finalized its no-action letter policy in February 2016.  The Bureau’s letter grants a request by Upstart Network, Inc. (“Upstart”), an online lender that uses both traditional and non-traditional credit scoring data, … Continue Reading

CFTC Launches FinTech Initiative “LabCFTC”

On May 17, 2017, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) announced the launch of its financial technology (“FinTech”) initiative, LabCFTC.  Per the agency, the initiative is designed to “promot[e] responsible FinTech innovation to improve the quality, resiliency, and competitiveness of the markets the CFTC oversees.”  According to Acting Chair J. Christopher Giancarlo, LabCFTC is “intended … Continue Reading

FDIC Settles Unfair and Deceptive Practices Investigation with Bank and Institution-Affiliated Parties

On May 11, 2017, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) announced settlements with Bank of Lake Mills and two of its institution-affiliated parties, Freedom Stores, Inc. and Military Credit Services, LLC.  The settlements require the companies to pay restitution totaling $3 million to past and present borrowers who were harmed, impose civil monetary penalties totaling … Continue Reading

Conference of State Bank Supervisors Sues To Stop OCC Fintech Charters

On April 26, 2017, the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (“CSBS”) filed a complaint against the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) and Comptroller of the Currency Thomas J. Curry to block the agency from going forward with its proposal to grant special purpose national bank charters to fintech companies. The CSBS filed … Continue Reading

OCC Issues Draft Licensing Manual for Evaluating Charter Applications from Fintech Companies

On Wednesday, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) issued a highly-anticipated draft supplement to its Licensing Manual (the “Supplement”) for evaluating applications from fintech companies for a special purpose national bank (“SPNB”) charter. The Supplement explains how the OCC will apply its existing licensing standards and requirements to these companies. The OCC … Continue Reading

OCC and CFPB weigh in on Fintech issues

In separate remarks at the Lendit USA 2017 conference on March 6, 2017, Thomas Curry, the Comptroller of the Currency, and Richard Cordray, the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), discussed their respective agencies’ approaches to fintech. Although neither agency head made any groundbreaking announcement, their remarks provide an up-to-date summary of the … Continue Reading

CFPB Issues Request for Information on Alternative Data and Modeling Techniques

On February 16, 2017, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a request for information (“RFI”) regarding the potential benefits and risks of relying on alternative data and modeling techniques in the consumer credit marketplace. In contrast with information that has traditionally defined a consumer’s credit history—such as debt repayment history and the existence of current … Continue Reading

State Banking Regulators Oppose OCC Fintech Charter

With this week’s close of the comment period on the December 2016 whitepaper by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) regarding special purpose charters for fintech companies, which we discussed in a previous client alert, several key stakeholders have weighed in on the OCC’s plans.  Notably, on January 13, 2017, the Conference … Continue Reading

Senate Democrats Question OCC’s Proposed FinTech Charters

As discussed in our recent client alert, in a December 2, 2016 whitepaper, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) outlined its authority under the National Bank Act to grant special-purpose charters on a case-by-case basis to financial technology (“fintech”) companies that provide services equivalent to certain traditional banking activities. In the paper, … Continue Reading
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