Washington, DC – Today, 90 community, consumer, and civil rights groups sent a letter led by the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) outlining the preferred path for regulation of financial technology companies (fintechs), such as online marketplace lenders, if they are granted charters by the regulator. The groups propose that any charters from the OCC must be accompanied by Community Reinvestment Act (CRA)-like obligations and examination of the companies’ compliance with fair lending and consumer protection laws, and that these regulations not preempt state regulation.
“If the OCC moves forward with plans to extend charters to fintech companies, such as online marketplace lenders, these charters should come along with CRA-like obligations, to ensure that the companies chartered are serving communities responsibly.” said NCRC President and CEO John Taylor. “Such action by the OCC must also be carefully designed so as not to preempt state regulations. The OCC, in coordination with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, must also carry out rigorous exams to make sure the companies are in compliance with fair lending and consumer protection laws. These steps are necessary to ensure sound lending, and to prevent potential disparate impact from fintechs’ underwriting algorithms that would harm protected classes.”
The letter to the OCC can be read here.
In July of this year, NCRC Director of Policy and Government Affairs Gerron Levi testified on the opportunities and challenges of fintech before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services’ Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit. The testimony can be read here.
NCRC and its grassroots member organizations create opportunities for people to build wealth. We work with community leaders, policymakers and financial institutions to champion fairness in banking, housing and business development.