The Community Bankers Association of Illinois' David Schroeder, Senior Vice President Federal Governmental Relations, participated in the March 21, 2018 Office of Comptroller of the Currency’s (OCC) Office of Innovation Office Hours event by meeting with senior OCC Innovation and Central District staff. The meeting was timely and very informative considering the many new developments in financial technology (fintech) which are being driven by consumer expectations. Fintech is rapidly moving into every area of financial services and it is critically important for community bankers to be aware of fintech opportunities and challenges and incorporate them into their community banks’ strategic planning.
Topics covered during Schroeder’s meeting included the rapid rise of fintechs, how the pace of fintech development is different than prior technology developments, the different approaches taken by large versus small banks (go-it-alone or partner), opportunities for partnerships with fintechs, risk factors to consider in the development of a fintech strategy, the importance of communicating early and often with bank’s regulators, and the challenges of customer data sharing with fintechs (data ownership and rights, privacy concerns, and liability for mishandling and misuse).
Also discussed during the meeting were the recent changes in leadership in the OCC and its impact on the OCC’s fintech initiatives, the status of the lawsuit against the OCC by the Conference of State Bank Supervisors challenging the OCC’s authority to approve special purpose national bank charters for fintechs, coordination among regulators on fintech supervision and regulation, and the importance of the regulators sharing success stories or problems/issues as additional guidance for the community banks they regulate. Read OCC’s FAQs on Partnering with Fintechs.