Senators Push Back on OCC’s Plan for Fintech Charter

U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) expressed concerns Monday that a new federal charter for financial technology firms could weaken consumer protections, limit competition, and threaten financial stability.

According to the Senators:

“Offering a new charter to non-bank companies seems at odds with the goals of financial stability, financial inclusion, consumer protection, and separation of banking and commerce that the OCC has upheld under your tenure.”

Brown and Merkley asked the OCC and other federal banking regulators in July to outline steps they are taking to ensure effective oversight of fintech companies and the use of blockchain technology. Brown, Merkley, and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) have also asked the Treasury Department and Small Business Administration, as well as the Government Accountability Office, for more information about their oversight of fintech firms.