The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) announced it has opened a 45-day public comment period on its proposed Innovation Pilot Program.
The program aims to provide eligible companies with valuable regulatory input early in the testing of innovative activities that could result in opportunities or benefits to consumers, businesses, financial institutions and communities.
“Supporting a financial system that innovates responsibly is central to the mission of the OCC,” said Comptroller of the Currency Joseph M. Otting in a press release. “As the prudential regulator of the U.S. federal banking system, the OCC has been a leading voice among regulators on the importance of encouraging innovation that promotes safe and sound bank operations, treats customers fairly and provides fair access to financial services. This proposed program is an important step as we look to the future of supervision and the evolution of the U.S. banking system.”
The program's objectives include supporting responsible innovation within the U.S. federal banking system, including the development and delivery of more effective and efficient products, services, systems or processes to benefit consumers, businesses, financial institutions and communities; engagement between the OCC and eligible entities; fostering the development of controls and safeguards for innovative activities; and promoting OCC policy objectives, including the review and adaptation of supervisory approaches that might unintentionally or unnecessarily inhibit responsible innovation.
"The proposed program focuses on novel activities where uncertainty is perceived to be a barrier to development and implementation. Eligibility criteria outlined within the program serve to provide further context for interested parties. The OCC would not approve, endorse or prioritize any particular activity within this program," the OCC explained.
Companies that would be considered eligible for the proposed program would include OCC-supervised financial institutions, including those engaging a third party to offer the product, service or process. Entities may propose a pilot individually or as a collaborative effort.