Tlaib, Lynch Lead Letter Blasting OCC for Unilateral Actions on Fintech Charter, Cryptocurrency

Nov 10, 2020
Press

WASHINGTON—Today, Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (MI-13) and Congressmen Stephen Lynch (MA-08) led a letter, which was cosigned by Reps. Jesús G. “Chuy” García (IL-04), Deb Haaland (NM-01), Barbara Lee (CA-13), and Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), to Acting Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) Brian Brooks concerning the bureau’s recent unilateral actions in the digital financial activities space, including interpretive letters on cryptocurrency custody, stablecoins, and its announced plans to start offering special purpose ‘payments’ charters.

One Interpretative Letter published September 21 would create a new class of institutions that benefits large, established fintech firms and harms the very innovation and choice that the former Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting said it would provide. The lawmakers say that and the OCC’s effort to grant commercial companies like Amazon and Facebook a national payments charter to access the Federal Reserve payments system and safety net without protecting the financial system and consumers from the related increase in systemic risk would expose the financial system to significant vulnerabilities at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic already has put it under immense strain.

“Arguably, the immediate needs of millions of at-risk individuals who have not yet received an economic stimulus check and/or cannot deposit their funds in a bank, deserve greater attention than an effort to increase access to financial services to the “banked community” via mobile phones,” the lawmakers wrote. “Our concern regarding the OCC’s excessive focus on crypto assets and crypto-related financial services is shared by the American Bankers Association and other trade groups who have expressed similar reservations that such services move too far away from the core business of banking.”

They went on to ask a series of questions with the goal of better understanding the OCC’s continuing efforts on these issues, such as whether newly allowed bank deposit reserves will be segregated from calculating the capital requirements of banks such as JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo or will they be able to lend against these deposits, what consumer protections the OCC will impose on the stablecoin providers themselves, etc.

The lawmakers asked for answers to their series of questions by December 10.

The full text of the letter can be found here.

Recent Posts


Apr 17, 2024
Press

Tlaib, Dingell Introduce Resolution Recognizing Arab American Heritage Month

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (MI-12) and Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-06) re-introduced a resolution recognizing April as Arab American Heritage Month to honor the incredible contributions Arab Americans have made in the United States. “It is always an honor to introduce this resolution recognizing Arab American Heritage Month,” said Congresswoman Tlaib. “As a […]



Apr 12, 2024
Press

Tlaib Opposes Reauthorizing Unchecked Government Surveillance

WASHINGTON D.C. — Today, Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (MI-12) released the following statement after voting against H.R. 7888: “It’s extremely disturbing that our government under both parties continues to abuse the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to surveil and spy on Americans in violation of our civil liberties, disproportionately targeting Black and brown communities. I voted to […]



Apr 4, 2024
In the News

Detroit Metro Times: Palestinian journalist Motaz Azaiza visits Michigan to speak at U-M and meet with Rashida Tlaib

Throughout the last six months, Palestinian citizens have taken on the vital role of journalism, capturing horrors in Gaza through videos and photographs shared across social media platforms. Among many, some of the most prominent faces have been Bisan Owda, Plestia Alaqad, and Motaz Azaiza, gaining millions of followers worldwide who not only seek updates on the conflict […]