On March 31, 2016, the US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency published a white paper on its vision for responsible innovation in the federal banking system and the eight principles that it will follow in developing a framework to evaluate new financial products and services, including formal outreach to the industry and collaboration with other regulators. The OCC also solicited feedback on how the OCC can facilitate responsible innovation, including what additional tools and resources could assist national banks and federal savings associations with regard to innovation. Comptroller Thomas J. Curry discussed the paper and the OCC’s general approach to financial innovation in remarks he gave at Harvard. He discussed the challenges that financial technology companies pose to traditional banks, and how these challenges encourage banks to evolve and improve the products and services they offer to businesses and consumers, but cautioned that banks must do so in a responsible way that is consistent with sound risk management practices. Curry mentioned the possibility of creating a new office dedicated to innovation, and noted the OCC’s commitment to work with banks to identify and understand new technology and help banks manage associated risks and comply with consumer safeguards. Comments on the white paper are due by May 31, 2016. The OCC will host a forum on June 23, 2016, to discuss comments on the white paper and lead a discussion on financial services innovation.

The OCC’s white paper is available at: http://www.occ.gov/publications/publications-by-type/other-publicationsreports/pub-responsible-innovation-banking-system-occ-perspective.pdf.

Comptroller Curry’s speech is available at: http://www.occ.gov/news-issuances/speeches/2016/pub-speech-2016-39.pdf.