OCC announces fintech office

The United States Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) has established its Office of Financial Technology to focus on the latest developments in the banking industry, it announced on March 30. The OCC aims to stay ahead of the rapid technological changes with the help of the new office. The office is set to open on April 10 and will be headed by Prashant Bhardwaj, the OCC deputy comptroller and chief financial technology officer, who was recently hired.

Bhardwaj and his team will be responsible for assessing, analysing, and discussing current and potential risks related to financial technology and its potential effects on OCC regulation. The establishment of the new office was initially disclosed in October, and it will be an expansion of the OCC’s 2017 Office of Innovation.

The OCC is a bureau of the Treasury Department that supervises commercial banks in the United States. Since May 2021, the Acting Comptroller of the Currency Michael Hsu has been in charge of the agency. The OCC has consistently advised banks against dealing with cryptocurrencies, as mentioned in its interpretive letters. It was also one of the three regulatory agencies that recently released a joint statement warning banks about the potential risks of crypto assets.

The OCC’s new Office of Financial Technology will aid the bureau in keeping up with the latest developments in the fintech space and help it navigate new and emerging risks that come with these technological advances.

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