On September 25, 2020, California Governor Newsom signed AB-1864 into law, which will significantly change the landscape of consumer financial service regulation in the state. The law renames the Department of Business Oversight as the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (“DFPI”). Along with a new name, the DFPI also gains important enforcement powers as the agency will now have the power to enforce all California laws related to “persons offering or providing consumer financial products or services in the state.” The law allows DFPI to establish a “Financial and Technology Innovation Office.” A key aim of the law is to improve the state’s consumer protection capacity by increasing the number of investigators and attorneys to oversee financial institutions.Read More
On September 17, the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) announced that at least 40 states will establish a joint examination process for “nationwide payments firms” for the 2021 examination cycle. Known as “MSB Networked Supervision,” the initiative will allow 78 licensed payments companies, including some cryptocurrency exchanges, to undergo one joint examination rather than separate examinations for each state in which they are licensed. The examinations will be conducted by a group of examiners from multiple states but led by one designated state’s regulator. To be eligible, companies must be licensed in at least 40 states. This initiative follows the “One Company, One Exam Pilot” that was completed earlier this year and is part of CSBS Vision 2020, an initiative to create “a networked system of nonbank licensing and supervision.”Read More
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently announced settlements with two remittance transfer providers for violations of the Electronic Funds Transfer Act (EFTA) and the Remittance Rule, part of the regulation that implements the EFTA—an area in which there isn’t typically much CFPB enforcement activity.Read More
On 22 July, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) issued an interpretive letter confirming that national banks and federal savings associations (collectively, banks) can offer custodial services for cryptoassets because “providing cryptocurrency custody services…is a modern form of traditional bank activities related to custody services.”Read More
On June 25, 2020, Acting Comptroller Brian Brooks announced in an American Bankers Association’s podcast that the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (the “OCC”) is planning to introduce “Payments Charter 1.0”, which would effectively be a “national version of a state money transmission license.”Read More
By Cameron Abbott and Sarah Goegan
Technology company IOT Group announced this week that it has signed an Australian first energy and blockchain deal. In the agreement with Hunter Energy, IOT Blockchain will build a blockchain centre at the Redbank coal-fired power station in the Hunter Valley, two hours north of Sydney.
Last week McKinsey published its 2017 Global Banking Annual Review, which is summarized in this Business Insider article. The headline on that article is the title of this post and is both accurate and an understatement of the risks of technological and relationship disruption facing banks. This was a major topic of conversation at last week’s Money 20/20 conference, of which K&L Gates was a sponsor and which drew more than 10,000 attendees.
Over the last several years, a number of U.S. state and federal government enforcement actions have challenged the viability of the bank partnership model that many marketplace lenders have used to fund consumer and small business loans. Specifically, regulators have argued that, in partnerships where the non-bank entity controls much of the funding process or the bank has little-to-no risk of loss, the non-bank entity is the “true lender.”
The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently issued its first no-action letter, pursuant to a policy designed to encourage innovation in the fintech marketplace by creating a testing ground for new technologies. If received, a no-action letter simply indicates that the CFPB “has no present intention to recommend initiation of an enforcement or supervisory action” against the applicant with respect to the specific product and regulatory concerns at issue.