Week Ahead: Curry, Cordray to Speak at Fintech Conference

By Jeff Bater

A proposal to offer national bank charters to financial technology firms could be fleshed out in the week ahead by Comptroller of the Currency Thomas Curry, who sparked controversy with a plan three months ago.

Curry is speaking March 6 at the LendIt USA 2017 event in New York, billed as “the world’s biggest show in lending & fintech.”

The title on the conference agenda of Curry’s address is “Financial Technology Innovation & the Federal Banking System.” Other speakers scheduled for the two-day event include Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.).

The Public Interest

Curry announced in December the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) would move forward with chartering financial technology companies that offer bank products and services. He said that considering special purpose national charters for fintech companies is in the public interest.

The plan has drawn critics, including Maria Vullo, superintendent of New York’s Department of Financial Services. She has said the OCC lacks the legal authority or experience to regulate non-bank fintech firms via its proposed national charter.

Curry, speaking at a fintech conference March 1 in New York, defended the special-purpose charters as legally permissible.

“We believe we are on a very strong legal ground,” he told the conference.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jeff Bater in Washington at jbater@bna.com

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

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