Washington, D.C. (Dec. 2, 2016)—Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA) President and CEO Camden R. Fine released this statement on today’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency white paper on limited national bank charters for financial technology firms.
“ICBA continues to have serious concerns with the establishment of a limited ‘fintech’ charter for nonbank online lenders. While ICBA supports oversight of these unregulated financial firms, a fintech charter poses risks to taxpayers and the financial system by endowing these nonbank companies with a federal bank charter.
“ICBA has been deeply concerned that nonbank online lenders’ lack of oversight has provided them with regulatory advantages over other institutions—such as highly regulated community banks—while putting consumers and the financial system at risk.
“Any limited fintech charter must hold these companies to the same standards of safety, soundness and fairness as other federally chartered institutions. Our nation’s fintech regulatory framework should be no less stringent than that which applies to insured depository institutions to ensure a fair regulatory system that protects consumers and supports safety and soundness at these unregulated companies.
“Community banks are subject to an unprecedented level of regulation, taxation and supervisory review, including an alphabet soup of rules that often do not apply to credit unions, Farm Credit System entities, and nonbanks. To ensure a level playing field, all financial institutions that offer banking services should be subject to the same standards.
“ICBA looks forward to closely reviewing the OCC’s white paper and providing complete and formal comments to the agency.”
The Independent Community Bankers of America®, the nation’s voice for nearly 6,000 community banks of all sizes and charter types, is dedicated exclusively to representing the interests of the community banking industry and its membership through effective advocacy, best-in-class education and high-quality products and services. For more information, visit www.icba.org.