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Responsible Innovation

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Responsible Innovation is the use of new or improved financial products, services and processes to meet the evolving needs of consumers, businesses, and communities in a manner that is consistent with sound risk management and is aligned with the bank’s overall business strategy.

At the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, we are making certain that institutions with federal charters have a regulatory framework that is receptive to responsible innovation and supervision that supports it.

-- Comptroller of the Currency Thomas J. Curry

OCC to Make National Charters Available to Fintech Companies

On December 2, 2016, the Comptroller of the Currency announced intent to make special purpose national bank charters available to financial technology companies. The agency published a paper discussing issues related to chartering special purpose national banks and solicited public comment to help inform its path forward.

Office of Innovation and Framework for Responsible Innovation

On October 26, 2016, the OCC announced the decision to establish an Office of Innovation and implement a framework supporting responsible innovation. The Office of Innovation will be headed by a Chief Innovation Officer assigned to OCC Headquarters with staff located in Washington, New York and San Francisco. The office will be the central point of contact and clearing house for requests and information related to innovation. It will also implement other aspects of the agency’s framework for responsible innovation, including

  • establishing an outreach and technical assistance program for banks and nonbanks,
  • conducting awareness and training activities for OCC staff,
  • encouraging coordination and facilitation,
  • establishing an innovation research function, and
  • promoting interagency collaboration.

The OCC expects the office to be operating in the first quarter of 2017. More details regarding the agency’s framework for responsible innovation are available in Recommendations and Decisions for Implementing a Responsible Innovation Framework (PDF).

Questions regarding the Office of Innovation can be directed to the Office of Innovation Mailbox.

Supporting Responsible Innovation in the Federal Banking System: An OCC Perspective

In March 2016, the OCC published a paper to provide its perspective on innovation in the financial services industry and outline principles guiding its approach to financial innovation and solicit feedback on nine questions and other topics presented in the paper.

OCC Public Forum on Responsible Innovation

On June 23, 2016, the OCC held a forum to discuss the issues regarding responsible innovation. The forum included participants from the banking industry, financial technology companies, academia, and community and consumer groups.

Related Guidance

Related News and Issuances