Trade Groups Ask OCC to Withdraw Payment, Crypto-Currency Charters

Credit union and banking trade groups are asking Acting Comptroller of the Currency Michael Hsu to withdraw a Trump Administration policy that allows the agency to issue charters to payment companies and crypto-currency firms.

“This significant policy change deserves thorough and transparent analysis by all interested stakeholders,” the groups, including the Credit Union National Association, the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions, the American Bankers Association, and the Independent Community Bankers of America, wrote in a letter to Hsu.

The groups cite a memo issued by the Biden Administration that states that all pending rules and regulatory interpretations be reviewed.

They asked that the OCC Interpretative Letter “be withdrawn and that any changes in the OCC’s eligibility requirements for a national trust or national bank charter be subject to a conventional rulemaking process, with public notice and comment.”

Last year, then-Acting Comptroller Scott Brooks issued Interpretative Letter 1176 stating that the agency would review non-traditional lenders for charters. That announcement was not made through the normal regulatory process, which includes public comment.

“The OCC made significant policy changes regarding the eligibility requirements to receive a trust charter through an Interpretative Letter without public input during the final days of the previous administration,” the trade groups wrote. They said that the new policy allows charters to be issued even if an institution is not engaged in fiduciary activities.

The groups stated that on Jan. 13, the OCC granted conditional approval to the Anchorage Digital Bank, an institution that would accept digital assets. On Feb. 4, a similar charter was issued to Protego Trust Bank in Washington state and on April 23, a charter was issued to Paxos National Trust, based in New York. They want the conditional charters withdrawn and reconsidered.

Related:

Letter from CUNA, NAFCU, ABA, ICBA, and Consumer Bankers Association to Michael Hsu, OCC

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