The Federal Reserve Board, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency have issued a joint statement on crypto-asset risks to banking organizations.  The term “crypto-asset” refers to any digital asset implemented using cryptographic techniques.

The statement begins with the agencies’ observations that “[t]he events of the past year have been marked by significant volatility and the exposure of vulnerabilities in the crypto-asset sector” and that “[t]hese events highlight a number of key risks associated with crypto-assets and crypto-asset sector participants that banking organizations should be aware of.”… Continue Reading

In recent remarks at the CRA & Fair Lending Colloquium, Grovetta Gardineer, Senior Deputy Comptroller for Bank Supervision Policy at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, discussed the OCC’s current fair lending initiatives.  Her remarks were intended to convey the message that the OCC is “laser focused on fair lending” and considers fair lending compliance to be an important component of safety and soundness.… Continue Reading

The OCC’s announcement that it will establish an Office of Financial Technology to “bolster the agency’s expertise and ability to adapt to a rapidly changing banking landscape” should come as no surprise to those who have been following recent pronouncements of Acting Comptroller Michael J. Hsu.

Over the past few months, Mr.… Continue Reading

The CFPB, Fed, and OCC have announced that they are increasing three exemption thresholds that are subject to annual inflation adjustments.  Effective January 1, 2023 through December 31, 2023, these exemption thresholds are increased as follows:

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In a letter dated October 11, 2022 to Acting Comptroller Michael J. Hsu, Patrick McHenry, the ranking member of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services, and four other Republican representatives, asked Mr. Hsu to respond to pointed questions about the OCC’s planned role in support of bank-fintech partnerships. … Continue Reading

In remarks at the DC Fintech Week conference on October 11, 2022 and in a keynote address later the same day at a roundtable conducted by the Harvard Law School  Program on International Financial Systems, Acting Comptroller of the Currency Michael J. Hsu expressed concerns about risks to consumers and the financial system posed by crypto industry participants.… Continue Reading

Since the beginning of Michael Hsu’s tenure as Acting Comptroller of the Currency, bank/fintech partnerships have been a focus of OCC concern.  Although bank lending partnerships with fintechs continue to receive OCC attention, recent remarks by OCC officials indicate that OCC scrutiny is now also directed at partnerships outside of the lending arena.… Continue Reading

On August 10, 2022, four Senators, Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Bernie Sanders (I-VT), sent a letter to Acting Comptroller of the Currency Michael Hsu, asking him to reverse four interpretive letters regarding whether it is permissible for national banks to provide cryptocurrency services.

Under Mr.… Continue Reading

On July 6, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”), the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National Credit Union Administration, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (collectively, “the Agencies”) issued a Joint Statement to “remind” banks that they, of course, should apply a risk-based approach to assessing customer relationships and conducting customer due diligence (“CDD”).… Continue Reading