The United States Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, or OCC, has announced its representatives will be available on a one-to-one basis to discuss financial technology.
In a Nov. 3 announcement, the OCC said entities considering fintech products and services, partnerships with banks, or concerns “related to responsible innovation in financial services” have the opportunity for one-hour meetings with its staff between Dec. 14-15. The government office said it will screen requests and proposed topics of discussions and announce virtual meeting times.
The OCC announcement followed the department saying it planned to establish an Office of Financial Technology starting in 2023 in an effort to gain a “deep understanding of financial technology and the financial technology landscape.” The request form for the OCC office hours offered the opportunity for a “candid discussion,” suggesting that a transcript or other details will likely not be available to the public.
The @USOCC announced it will host virtual Innovation office hours on Dec. 14-15 to promote responsible innovation in the federal #banking system. One-on-one meeting requests must be submitted by Nov. 18. https://t.co/6G78KV6K0P pic.twitter.com/lBroXemL6U
— OCC (@USOCC) November 4, 2022
In announcing its Office of Financial Technology, the OCC said the proposed office hours will be one of five methods businesses and individuals have to connect with the government department directly. The OCC arm also announced listening sessions, fintech symposiums, participation in financial and banking conferences, and public speeches.
The OCC seems to be stretching its regulatory ambitions in its authority over fintech firms. In 2021, the office pushed back against efforts from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to charter non-depository fintech firms. Acting OCC head Michael Hsu has also called for regulatory standards on stablecoins while the Federal Reserve, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission have clashed while handling regulation and enforcement cases involving digital assets.