Tennessee Bankers

This Week Newsletter

December 12, 2016 - Issue No. 1649

OCC to Grant Federal Charters to Fintech Firms

The OCC is moving forward with plans to provide special-purpose national bank charters to financial technology firms, Comptroller of the Currency Thomas Curry announced on Dec. 2. The move would help level the playing field for fintech firms that compete with banks by providing a consistent regulatory framework and promote consumer protection, Curry said.

During a Q&A session following his remarks, Curry acknowledged the wide variation in fintech companies' business models, products and goals and emphasized that the OCC will take a tailored approach when determining whether to grant charters and setting capital requirements for fintech firms. Curry added that the OCC is also seeking input on how firms could be resolved in the event of failure. Read Curry's speech.

ABA Sues NCUA Over Field of Membership Rule

In immediate response to the NCUA last Wednesday, Dec. 7, publishing a final rule further expanding federal credit unions' field of membership, ABA filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn the rule.
NCUA's final rule "fails to adhere to the limitations on federal credit unions established by Congress," ABA said in the lawsuit. "By exceeding these statutory limitations, the final rule upsets the balance Congress struck between granting federal credit unions tax-favored status and limiting their operations to carefully circumscribed groups or localities that share a common bond."

Under the final rule, scheduled to take effect Feb. 6, FCUs can apply to serve entire geographic regions, so-called "rural districts" up to 1 million people (which include the entirety of Alaska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont or Wyoming), and areas contiguous to their existing service areas. Read ABA's lawsuit.
ICBA announced its strong support for the ABA's action and that it will participate in the lawsuit through a friend-of-the-court brief.
ABA meanwhile is also supporting a pending lawsuit filed ICBA over another NCUA rule to loosen the cap on business lending by CUs.  

TN GOP Elects Scott Golden New Chairman

The Tennessee Republican Party's Executive Committee met on Dec. 3 and elected Scott Golden as the new state party chairman.  Golden, of Jackson, is a member of the executive committee and succeeds Ryan Haynes as chairman.
Golden, a former staffer to U.S. Reps. Marsha Blackburn and Stephen Fincher, defeated executive director Brent Leatherwood in a runoff vote of 33 to 26. Golden and Leatherwood advanced the runoff by edging out Bill Giannini, deputy commissioner for the Department of Commerce, in the initial round of voting by the executive committee.

OCC Seeks Comment on Aspects of Chartering Fintech Firms

The OCC also released a white paper on its authority, principles and process for chartering special-purpose national banks, which it already does for uninsured trust banks and special-purpose credit card banks. Under the National Bank Act, the OCC may issue charters for any company involved in making loans, processing payments or receiving deposits.

In the white paper, the OCC requested comment on several issues before it begins granting fintech charters. Questions included what capital and liquidity requirements the OCC should impose, how a fintech firm can demonstrate its commitment to financial inclusion, how fintech firms that do not lend (such as a payments provider) can demonstrate a commitment to inclusion, and whether a special-purpose fintech charter would have competitive advantages over a full-service bank charter.
Comments are due by Jan. 15, 2017. Read the white paper.

Welcome New Associate Members

TBA welcomes new associate members Acumen Technology, LLC in the category of information technology and Integrity Solutions in the category of training. Please thank these companies for their support of the Tennessee banking industry through membership and view the list of all TBA associate members in our online directory.

SIGNiX's E-Signature Webinar Available for Download

Last week, TBA hosted a webinar highlighting our newest endorsed partner, SIGNiX, and the benefits and relevant trends related to e-signature technology in banking. A recording of that webinar is available at this link where you can also download the webinar slides along with various resources about e-signature and what makes SIGNiX's independent signature technology superior. Learn more about this TBA partner by contacting Stacey Langford.

TBA On the Road

  • TBA hosts the Regional and Large Bank Roundtable in Nashville.

See where TBA goes while "on the road" by following @TNBankers.