On April 12, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) released its Risk Appetite Statement, which sets boundaries of acceptable levels of risk in key areas of agency operations. The OCC stated that: “By clearly articulating the acceptable level of risks within our operations, agency management and employees have clearer signposts by which to guide their decisions, and external stakeholders can better understand OCC actions in the context of the risks facing the agency.”

These new guidelines were issued as the OCC has signaled a willingness to work with banks as they develop tools for working with financial technology products. On March 31, the OCC published its perspective on “responsible innovation in the federal banking system” at the same time as it solicited feedback on what more it could do to support innovation. In publishing its Whitepaper on Supporting Responsible Innovation in the Federal Banking System: An OCC Perspective, Comptroller of the Currency Thomas J. Curry stated that: “Innovation holds much promise. . . . Innovation is not free from risk, but when managed appropriately, risk should not impede progress.”