U.S. OCC head: will take a more cautious approach to cryptocurrencies

The head of the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency says he intends to keep an open mind, but is committed to ensuring that banks are safe for consumers.

U.S. OCC head: will take a more cautious approach to cryptocurrencies

Michael Hsu, the new acting comptroller of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), said in a speech that he requested a review of all pending matters, interpretive letters and guidance from federal banking regulators, including issues related to digital assets and cryptocurrencies, Coindesk reported.

Much of the OCC’s cryptocurrency guidance was issued under the supervision of former Acting Comptroller Brian Brooks.

At the OCC, the focus has been on encouraging responsible innovation,” Hsu said. For example, we created the Office of Innovation, updated the chartered national bank and trust company framework, and interpreted crypto custody services as part of the banking business. I have asked staff to review these guidelines and frameworks.”

Hsu said he intends to keep an open mind, but is committed to making sure the bank is safe for consumers.

My concern is that these initiatives are not fully coordinated with all stakeholders,” he said. They also do not appear to be part of a broader strategy related to the scope of regulation. I think addressing these two tasks should be a top priority. “

Hsu will testify before the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday in a hearing that will include all U.S. federal banking regulators.

The hearing memo also discusses digital assets and the OCC’s crypto-related actions under Brooks’ leadership.

The memo states, “Technology is rapidly impacting the financial system, with online lenders, payment processors and other fintech companies gaining market share. As a result, many of these companies want a national charter that would ease the burden on states and allow them to conduct bank-like activities, particularly regulatory centers and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which can engage in banking activities while receiving less regulation.”

Hsu said, “I expect any company chartered by the OCC to meet the financial needs of consumers and businesses in a fair and equitable manner and to support the important goal of promoting credit accessibility. Recognizing the OCC’s unique authority to grant charters, we must find a way to consider how fintech and payment platforms fit into the banking system, and we must do so in coordination with the FDIC, the Federal Reserve and the states.”

This year, the OCC granted trust charters to three crypto-related companies: Anclage, Protego and Paxos.

Kristin Smith, executive director of the Blockchain Association, said in a statement, “It is no surprise that the newly appointed Acting Comptroller will review recent policy decisions when he takes office. We are encouraged by the Acting Comptroller’s recognition of the importance of financial innovation.”

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/u-s-occ-head-will-take-a-more-cautious-approach-to-cryptocurrencies/
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