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What does the OCC’s new innovation framework say about a national fintech charter?

Not a thing, but that’s not so bad. The framework, released Wednesday, is the culmination of the OCC’s “responsible innovation” process and, among other things, the OCC announced that it would will establish an office dedicated to innovation and work to be more flexible and collaborative in its regulatory approach–somewhat like regulators in Singapore and the UK.

In our comments to the OCC, we proposed a national fintech charter that would give digital currency firms a new federal alternative to state money transmission regulation. While the framework doesn’t mention chartering or any other specific new policies, the accompanying press release had this to say:

The OCC’s assessment of granting a special purpose national bank charter to nonbank financial technology companies, and under what conditions, continues. The OCC has made no determination regarding chartering of these firms. The agency plans to publish a paper later this year discussing the issues associated with establishing a special purpose charter and seeking comment on the topic.

That’s very encouraging, and we look forward to the paper.