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Federal judge rules against OCC in fintech regulatory lawsuit by NYS

A U.S. District Court judge ruled that the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency lacks the authority to grant nationwide bank charters to fintechs, striking a major blow against the efforts to create a uniform regulatory framework to challenger banks here. 

Regulators in New York, considered the nation's leading state regulator of the banking industry, filed suit in 2018 to block the effort by the OCC to provide a regulatory framework that would allow fintechs to compete with banks on a nationwide basis. 

New York State Superintendent of Financial Services Linda Lacewell said she was pleased by the ruling. 

"The decision makes the financial well being of consumers from New York and around the country a priority," she said in an emailed statement. "It reflects the rational conclusion that DFS and other state banking regulators have the expertise to provide the strict supervisory oversight and enforcement of anti money laundering and consumer protection statutes and regulations that non-depository financial service providers are required to follow."

She added that the ruling stops OCC's attempt to "usurp state authority by establishing a financial fintech regulatory framework at the expense of consumers."

"The agency disagrees with the decision and the court's interpretation of the authority the National Bank Act grants the OCC," a spokesman told Mobile Payments Today via email. "The agency plans to appeal the ruling to resolve this issue."