OCC files appeal in fintech charter case

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WASHINGTON — The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has filed an appeal of a recent court ruling that struck down the agency's special-purpose fintech charter.

In October, U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero ruled against the OCC in a case brought by the New York State Department of Financial Services. The state regulatory agency had sued the OCC saying that the national bank regulator had overstepped its authority in creating the charter. Specifically, the lawsuit argued that the OCC could not offer a charter without deposit insurance.

Marrero agreed, writing that the National Bank Act’s “business of banking” clause “unambiguously requires that, absent a statutory provision to the contrary, only depository institutions are eligible to receive national bank charters from the OCC.”

The OCC first proposed its fintech charter in 2015 as a possible avenue for firms to operate a nationwide platform without having to get licensed in all 50 states.

The OCC's appeal was filed in the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

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Licenses and charters Fintech regulations Court cases Joseph Otting OCC NYDFS