OCC’s proposal rightfully directs banks to upgrade – American Banker

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s recent notice that it was considering rulemaking reflecting the increasing impact of technology marked an important inflection point in regulatory history, and acknowledgment of just how much fintech is reshaping the financial sector.

The June 4 advance notice of proposed rulemaking noted that for banks to remain competitive, they “should adjust their business models and practices to a new financial marketplace and changing customer demands.”

In just a decade, more than 1,000 nonbank cryptocurrencies have launched, supported by dozens of crypto exchanges. Facebook has intrigued and startled the world with its own attempt to launch one such digital currency.

At the same time, marketplace peer-to-peer lending has grown exponentially; artificial intelligence is seeping into every aspect of finance; and cloud and quantum computing are revolutionizing the movement, storage and transmission of data and value.

The OCC’s proposal asks the public to consider the role and purpose of special-purpose national banks, the digital banking activities that should be addressed and how cryptocurrency, crypto-assets and distributed ledger technologies are impacting banks and customers.

Notably, it also seeks input on how AI and machine learning could be used in credit underwriting, anti-money-laundering activities, fraud detection, customer identification, due diligence processes, trading and hedging activities, forecasting and marketing.

Acting Comptroller Brian Brooks and the OCC understand that technology is reshaping the landscape by changing not only the means of