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US fintech-companies will be able to obtain banking licenses

OCC

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) in the USA will issue to fintech companies a national banking license with a limited purpose. About it is stated in the press- release of the organization that was published on Friday, 2 December.

Comptroller of OCC Thomas Curry said that first of all, they did it in the public interest. It was obvious that fintech companies had enormous potential to expand access to financial services, empowering consumers more opportunities and help families and businesses more control over their own finances.

Selection criteria and requirements for applicants, however, will be quite high. In order to obtain such license, companies and start-ups should be involved in the fiduciary activities or carry out at least one of the three key functions of banks: lending, payment checks and accepting deposits.

Pursuant to American Banker, the decision of OCC can be considered as a major victory for companies in the fintech sector, which has long sought such possibility, not wishing to be registered in different states and build their activities per various laws and restrictions. The unified federal license will allow them to comply with the national standards and, hence, have a deal with one competent authority.

Also, it likely becomes a source of disputes with regulators at the state level, it has previously stated that the federal license is "dangerous and unnecessary." Besides, some representatives of the banking industry are worried that fintech companies will have the same advantages as banks, on those would not impose commitments.

However, Thomas Curry with such assumptions disagrees and assures there are no advantages for the fintech sector.

He said for the health of the federal banking system and anyone who has a deal with its institutions, it would be better if such companies enter the market through a clearly marked entrance and not through a back door, where there was no possibility of an in-depth assessment and risk management.

Who wishes to receive the federal banking fintech company license will still have to meet a number of regulatory requirements, including the provisions of the Bank Secrecy Act and the law upon combating money laundering, as well as relevant laws on consumer protection.

Last summer, special assistant of the US President for Economic Policy Adrienne Harris said that the new financial technologies - the engine of transformation for both consumers and companies, changing their relationship with the world of finance.

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