OCC publishes paper on responsible innovation in banking

The United States Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has published “Supporting Responsible Innovation in the Federal Banking System: An OCC Perspective,” a white paper addressing responsible innovation in the federal banking system.

The agency also has solicited feedback as to what more it might do to support innovation that better serves consumers, businesses and communities, a press release said.

The OCC seeks feedback on a series of issues such as:

  • how to facilitate responsible innovation;
  • how the agency can streamline its processes for evaluating innovative products, services and processes;
  • how the OCC can promote open dialogue with industry stakeholders; and
  • what additional tools and resources could assist national banks and federal savings associations with regard to innovation.

Comptroller of the Currency Thomas J. Curry summed up the objectives of the publication:

At the OCC, we are making certain that institutions with federal charters have a regulatory framework that is receptive to responsible innovation along with the supervision that supports it. Innovation holds much promise. It can help meet the needs of the underserved and provide better financial tools for families. It can help institutions scale operations efficiently, and it can make business and consumer transactions faster and safer. Innovation is not free from risk, but when managed appropriately, risk should not impede progress.

The American Banking Association responded to the OCC announcement with approval; ABA President and CEO Rob Nichols released this statement on the white paper project:

We applaud the forward-looking efforts announced by the OCC today, and support any measure that allows banks to better innovate for the benefit of their customers and local economy.
 The OCC’s focus on responsible innovation lines up with our core belief that banks should be empowered to innovate and that consumers should feel confident they have the same protections when doing business with any financial services provider — bank or nonbank.

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