OCC’s New Lexicon: Neobanks, Bitcoin, Peer-to-Peer
by Rob Blackwell and Joe Adler

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is trying to “supercharge” its process for reviewing financial innovations in an effort to keep pace with a glut of new products inside and outside the banking system.Comptroller Thomas Curry said late last week that his agency has formed a working group to more closely examine technological advances like digital currencies, neobanks and marketplace lending….”Clearly Tom Curry wants to position the OCC as the go-to regulator for innovative concepts,” said Karen Shaw Petrou, managing partner with Federal Financial Analytics. “He is signaling a lot of openness to them as long as certain controls are in place.”But his remarks also sparked some concerns. During Curry’s speech, he noted that “the financial crisis was fueled in large part by such ‘innovations’ as option adjustable rate mortgages, structured investment vehicles, and a variety of increasingly complex securities that represented interests in subprime mortgages.”