Fintech's Road to Regulatory Acceptance Is Just Starting
The last month has seen a variety of financial regulators articulating their views concerning fintech. Their interest signals greater regulatory certainty for innovative firms looking to have national platforms. But these firms may soon learn that regulatory acceptance is a mixed bag.
In just the last few weeks, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency announced that it will craft a process for approving limited-purpose bank charters for fintech firms. The Securities and Exchange Commission held a fintech forum where SEC Chair Mary Jo White discussed the work of an agency working group on fintech issues. The Federal Reserve held a financial innovation conference where Gov. Lael Brainard discussed the Fed's ability to shape and regulate this developing market.
The agencies' statements have rightly been a careful blend of the need to foster market innovation with the obligation to maintain a safe and sound financial system. The OCC's announcement, in particular, represents the most tangible regulatory development for fintech companies. But whether this will be a panacea for fintech companies is still to be determined.