Article: Why some fintech firms are saying no thanks to OCC charter

From the American Banker [Subscription Required]:

Some fintech firms are flatly rejecting the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s creation of a charter for such firms, citing fears that it will come with too many strings attached.

“This provides zero benefit to innovation,” said Timothy Li, the founder and CEO of Kuber, an online lender targeting college students. “It’s a self-serving act.”

The chartering and supervision process offered by the OCC, Li said, is a costlier, slower proposition that seems out of reach for smaller companies.

“It’s the opposite of some of what the other countries are doing,” he said.

Other fintech companies, meanwhile, are also wary of the new charter. Several have suggested they will wait until their more established peers test the waters, in order to get a better sense of the benefits and costs at stake.

Yet while some are enthusiastic about what the OCC has put forth, others are adopting a wait-and-see approach for a number of reasons.

“What types of handcuffs or restrictions would that place on these companies that have to be pretty nimble as they figure out a way in the marketplace?” said Brock Blake, CEO and co-founder of the online marketplace Lendio, which partners with 75 different lenders.