Acting Comptroller of the Currency Backs Innovation (Again) October 26, 2017 The OCC’s Acting Comptroller of the Currency, Keith Noreika, addressed innovation and the OCC Fintech Charter at Georgetown University's Fintech Week last week. Noreika has been addressing innovation frequently in a series of public remarks over the past few months. In his remarks, Noreika spoke of his excitement and support of the evolution of the banking industry and its push towards technology. He believes that it is a natural step, and it reflects the revolutionary changes of the banking system in the U.S. such as the introduction of a national currency. Noreika also mentioned the OCC’s Office of Innovation, and its work communicating and creating a path of open dialogue with fintech companies and community banks. Noreika also stated that the office is developing a framework for OCC participation in bank-run pilots. The pilots will allow banks to create fintech products that they will be able to test in a controlled environment. The pilot program resembles a “sandbox,” a common term used in the fintech space when a government provides an area for companies to test new fintech products. Towards the end of his remarks, Noreika offered an update on whether the OCC plans to extend national bank charters to fintech companies. Noreika said: “If, and it is still an if, a fintech company has ambitions to engage in business on a national scale and meets the criteria for doing so, it should be free to seek a national bank charter. That includes pursuing a charter under the agency’s authority to charter special purpose national banks or the agency’s long-existing authority to charter full-service national banks and federal saving associations, as well as other long-established limited-purpose banks, such as trust banks, bankers’ banks, and other so-called CEBA credit card banks.” This statement continues Noreika’s narrative from previous remarks, where he has continually defended innovation in the financial services sphere.