Top regulator pushes ahead with plan to reshape banking, sparking clash with states

Victoria Guida

A federal regulator is moving to offer national charters to companies that provide payments services, escalating a battle with states over whether businesses that don’t take deposits should be given national bank status.

Acting Comptroller of the Currency Brian Brooks’ effort to reshape what is regarded as a bank has sparked a court fight with New York and drawn fire from other state regulators and established lenders. But that isn’t stopping him from forging ahead.

Brooks told POLITICO the agency will be ready as soon as Tuesday to start processing applications for charters from payments companies, just three months after he took over the agency. These could include financial technology firms like PayPal or cryptocurrency exchanges like Coinbase, his former employer.

“We’ve satisfied ourselves that we don’t need a new regulation or a new statute on it,” Brooks said.

A charter would give these companies the ability to operate across state borders with a single set of rules, as well as to expand the suite of financial services they offer.

Click here to read the rest of this article by Victoria Guida.