Federal Reserve Hints at Upcoming Payments Announcement and Evaluation of Fintech Companies that Receive an OCC SPNB Charter

Written by Eamonn K. Moran

Press reports indicate that the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System plans to announce the next step in its effort to speed payments in the U.S. financial system later this year. “We’ve been assessing various approaches to 24/7, 365 days a year settlement services and so we hope to share our assessments on those approaches in the fourth of quarter of this year,” stated Jeff Ernst, counsel for the Federal Reserve Board’s Division of Consumer and Community Affairs, at the Electronic Transactions Association’s annual policy forum on September 6, 2018.

In addition, Ernst reportedly noted that the Federal Reserve Board also would have to evaluate on a case-by-case basis how to treat fintech companies that receive a special purpose national bank (SPNB) charter from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). Such charter recipients could pose “really difficult policy and interpretive issues” that the Federal Reserve is going to have to address, “such as whether a charter recipient would become a member of the Federal Reserve system and whether they would gain access to Federal Reserve services. At this point all we can say is we’re going to have to make an individual determination for each charter recipient on those questions,” Ernst reportedly stated.

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