Although the Dodd-Frank moratorium on non-bank bank charters ended in 2013, the combination of strong community-bank opposition and FDIC chartering obstacles along with new fintech product-delivery options has continued the ban in a de facto fashion. The only crack in the barrier between banking and fintech outside of a full banking charter came earlier this year when the OCC under former Comptroller Curry proposed a special-purpose national bank charter with an array of significant limitations that curtailed non-bank interest in the option. Reflecting what it likely expects to be more willingness by regulators under the Trump Administration to innovate, a major non-bank fintech firm that for years denigrated a bank charter as unduly cumbersome and costly has now filed the first application for a Utah charter with FDIC insurance to offer the limited range of products permissible to non-bank banks. Community banks have strongly protested this application, making it clear that the battle over non-traditional charters has now resumed.
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