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Responsible Innovation

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Responsible Innovation is the use of new or improved financial products, services and processes to meet the evolving needs of consumers, businesses, and communities in a manner that is consistent with sound risk management and is aligned with the bank’s overall business strategy.

At the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), we are making certain that institutions with federal charters have a regulatory framework that is receptive to responsible innovation and supervision that supports it.

-- Comptroller of the Currency Thomas J. Curry

Special Purpose National Bank Charters for Fintech Companies

On March 15, 2017, the OCC released the Comptroller’s Licensing Manual Draft Supplement: Evaluating Charter Applications From Financial Technology Companies describing its approach to evaluating national bank charter applications from financial technology (fintech) companies engaged in the business of banking and its approach to supervising fintech companies chartered as national banks. The Supplement complements existing policy and guidance related to chartering, supervising, and resolving national banks. The Supplement was informed by comments received on the agency’s December 2016 paper discussing issues associated with chartering special purpose national banks. The OCC is soliciting comment on the draft Supplement for 30 days.

Office of Innovation and Framework for Responsible Innovation

On October 26, 2016, the OCC announced the decision to establish an Office of Innovation and implement a framework supporting responsible innovation. The Office of Innovation will be headed by a Chief Innovation Officer assigned to OCC Headquarters with staff located in Washington, New York and San Francisco. The office will be the central point of contact and clearing house for requests and information related to innovation. It will also implement other aspects of the agency’s framework for responsible innovation, including

  • establishing an outreach and technical assistance program for banks and nonbanks,
  • conducting awareness and training activities for OCC staff,
  • encouraging coordination and facilitation,
  • establishing an innovation research function, and
  • promoting interagency collaboration.

More details regarding the agency’s framework for responsible innovation are available in Recommendations and Decisions for Implementing a Responsible Innovation Framework (PDF).

Questions regarding the Office of Innovation can be directed to the Office of Innovation Mailbox.

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