'Two cops on the beat': Regulator wants sole authority to charter fintech firms

'Two cops on the beat': Regulator wants sole authority to charter fintech firms


Brian Brooks, the acting head of the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and former chief legal officer to Coinbase, has warned against the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau receiving the right to grant “Fintech Charters.”

Earlier this week, the CFPB’s Taskforce on Consumer Financial Law published a report featuring 102 policy recommendations intended to “improve and strengthen” financial regulations, including proposing that Congress empower the CFPB to federally charter nondepository institutions — financial firms that do not take customer deposits and collect fees for other financial services.

Under Brian Brooks’ leadership, the OCC created the Special Purpose Payments Charter for FinTech in 2020, paving the way for certain crypto firms to apply for recognition as a national bank. Paxos and BitPay sought approval for chartering under the new regime in December.

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Should the CFPB be extended the right to charter fintechs, it could reduce regulatory clarity as to which agencies non-depository crypto firms should apply to, and

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