Regulators Set the Stage for Fintech and Blockchain

The Federal Reserve Board (FRB) and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) both recently launched plans regarding fintech.

On December 2nd, the OCC announced that it will be considering applications from fintech companies to become special purpose national banks, giving them freedom to operate across the country without seeking state-by-state permission or joining with brick-and-mortar banks.  “First and foremost, we believe doing so is in the public interest,” Comptroller Curry said. “It is clear that fintech companies hold great potential to expand financial inclusion, empower consumers, and help families and businesses take more control of their financial matters.”

Following the OCC’s announcement, the FRB published a research paper on fintech this Monday, December 5th. The paper describes how the FRB plans to monitor financial innovations, such as blockchain, and urges more study on the potential risks and rewards for financial markets.  Specifically, the paper examines the potential impact of distributed ledgers for payment, securities clearing and settlement.

SFIG’s Marketplace Lending Committee is engaged in an effort to establish industry-driven best practices for marketplace lending securitizations. Last week, SFIG released a First Edition Green Paper, the first of a series of papers aimed at supporting the responsible growth of securitization in the marketplace lending sector. The Best Practices Initiative was launched in February 2016, and seeks to identify a framework of market standards and recommended best practices through an open discussion among a broad cross-section of market participants.  If you are interested in joining the Marketplace Lending Committee and becoming involved in the Best Practices Initiative, please contact Jennifer.Wolfe@sfindustry.org.

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