Brian Brooks, the Acting Comptroller for the Currency from May 2020 to January 2021, had to defend the fintech banking charter in front of the House Financial Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions.
The fintech charter was introduced by the Office of the Comptroller of Currency (OCC) which enabled fintech firms – including cryptocurrency firms – to provide lending and payment products without the scrutiny faced by other firms. The charter placed fintech firms out of the inspecting lens of the banking regulators – allowing crypto firms greater freedom.
Brooks faced lash back from the Democrats as they argued the viability of the charter given the already largely unregulated status of the cryptocurrency industry. Chairwoman of House Financial Services Committee, Maxine Waters, talked about the complaints registered from banks about the greater freedom that firms under the charter have. Waters furthered bashed the OCC stating the office has stepped outside its authority.
Brooks was quick to defend the charter stating that the charter bought fintech companies under regulation. Moreover, Brooks also described how the charter is aimed at empowering the financial technology sphere in order to provide greater value to consumers. According to Brooks, the charter enables a greater choice to consumers of lending and payment options; hence empowering consumers. Brooks further stated the charter is designed to help propel the country’s technological dynamism.