Bank Regulator Re-Files Bid to Dismiss Fintech Court Challenge

By Chris Bruce

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency Aug. 2 renewed its bid to dismiss a court challenge to a closely watched fintech initiative after a previous filing drew a rebuke from a federal judge ( Conf. of State Bank Supervisors v. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency , D.D.C., 17-cv-00763, motion to dismiss 8/2/17 ).

The Conference of State Bank Supervisors has sued to block what it says is final OCC action to create a new special purpose national bank charter for financial technology companies and other nonbank firms. The OCC July 28 asked Judge James E. Boasberg of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to throw out the suit, but Boasberg struck the OCC’s filing. He said it had too many footnotes and ordered the agency to file a new motion.

The OCC did so with a motion backed by a 51-page brief. The agency said the CSBS hasn’t shown that it’s been harmed, and said it hasn’t yet reached a decision about whether it will offer the kind of charter at issue in the suit.

“The Court should conclude that none of the allegations contained in the Complaint presents either a justiciable case or controversy under the Constitution or a reviewable final agency action under the Administrative Procedure Act,” the filing said.

The OCC also said that even if the court takes on the merits of the case, the suit should still be dismissed because the agency has given an authoritative interpretation of the National Bank Act that deserves deference by the court.

The OCC’s filing came one day after a judge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ordered briefing in a separate but similar fintech challenge to the OCC in that court by New York Department of Financial Services Superintendent Maria Vullo. Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald said the OCC’s motion to dismiss that case is due Aug. 25.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chris Bruce in Washington at cbruce@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Ferullo at MFerullo@bna.com

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