Office of the Comptroller of the Currency Issues Draft Licensing Manual Supplement for FinTech Companies: OCC Outlines Process for FinTech Companies to Apply for Special Purpose National Bank Charters and Seeks Public Comment

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP - March 19, 2017

On March 15, 2017, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the regulator and chartering authority for national banks and federal savings associations, issued a draft supplement to the Comptroller’s Licensing Manual entitled Evaluating Charter Applications from Financial Technology Companies (Licensing Supplement).  The Licensing Supplement describes the process through which financial technology (FinTech) companies may apply for special purpose national bank (SPNB) charters and outlines certain additional supervisory criteria the OCC will consider when evaluating applications.  As described in the Licensing Supplement, FinTech companies seeking SPNB charters will be subject to an application process substantially similar to the process for applicants seeking a full-service national bank charter.  The Licensing Supplement also outlines a set of supervisory criteria specific to FinTech companies that the OCC will use when evaluating applications, including the OCC’s expectations for a “financial inclusion plan” that certain FinTech companies will be required to submit as part of their applications.  The OCC is seeking public comment on the Licensing Supplement and the deadline for comment is April 14, 2017.