CUNA is concerned that the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is considered “industry altering changes” without sufficient public consideration, it wrote to the agency Monday. Acting Comptroller Brian Brooks has publicly stated that the OCC is considering implementing a special purpose bank charter limited to payments services.
“Although Acting Comptroller Brooks in his comments mentions that this charter will have a narrow focus within the Comptroller’s authority, we are concerned chartering such a special purpose bank represents a significant policy change at the OCC that should only be done after careful consideration and public rulemaking so that public policy and the public’s interests can be thoroughly considered,” CUNA wrote.
“Changes to bank charters impact the public, state regulatory schemes and other business that rely on consistent regulations to operate. All stakeholders should have the opportunity to voice concerns and the implications of important changes in policy should be carefully weighed before the changes are made, especially when there can be broader impact on the delivery of financial services,” it adds.
CUNA notes that this concern comes from the belief tha any entity offering products of services commonly association with financial institutions should be subject to the same regulation as a financial institution, and that consumers obtaining the product should receive the same protections.
“Similar to many other industries, depository institutions’ business models are impacted by technology and innovation from within and outside the industry, as well as regulatory constraints,” the letter reads. “Nonetheless, any change to a Federal banking charter shouldn’t happen behind closed doors and must only be considered in an open and transparent process.”
CUNA joined other organizations last week with a letter expressing similar concerns.