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Responsible Innovation

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The OCC defines Responsible Innovation as the use of new or improved financial products, services and processes to meet the evolving needs of consumers, businesses, and communities in a manner that is consistent with sound risk management and is aligned with the bank’s overall business strategy.

The OCC has established an Office of Innovation and has implemented a framework supporting responsible innovation. The office serves as the central point of contact and clearing house for requests and information related to innovation.

E-Mail the Office of Innovation    Call Us: (202) 649-5200     

At the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, we are making certain that institutions with federal charters have a regulatory framework that is receptive to responsible innovation and supervision that supports it.

“Supporting Responsible Innovation in the Federal Banking System: An OCC Perspective”

Office of Innovation at a Glance

A General Guide

A Guide for Community Banks

A Guide for Financial Technology
and Other Nonbank Institutions


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OCC’s Responsible Innovation Framework

Outreach & Technical Assistance Icon
Outreach & Technical Assistance
  • Establishes ongoing dialogue with banks, nonbanks (including financial technology (fintech) companies), and other stakeholders
  • Provides technical assistance to banks and nonbanks
  • Promotes awareness and understanding of OCC positions and expectations
Awareness Icon
Awareness & Training
  • Fosters OCC staff awareness of responsible innovation and emerging trends
  • Improves training and enhances the skills of examiners and other OCC staff
  • Develops processes to build and leverage OCC experience and expertise
Coordination & Facilitation Icon
Coordination & Facilitation
  • Implements a process to streamline and coordinate innovation-related decisions to ensure transparent and timely responses to inquiries
  • Creates a process for OCC participation in bank-run pilots
Research Icon
  • Assesses continuously the landscape and trends in financial innovation
  • Uses research and ongoing stakeholder dialogue to inform OCC policy, supervision, and analysis
Interagency Collaboration Icon
Interagency Collaboration
  • Uses existing communication channels to share information and collaborate with domestic and international regulators

Related Guidance

Special Purpose National Bank Charter Information

On March 15, 2017, the OCC released the Comptroller’s Licensing Manual Draft Supplement: Evaluating Charter Applications From Financial Technology Companies describing its approach to evaluating national bank charter applications from financial technology (fintech) companies engaged in the business of banking and its approach to supervising fintech companies chartered as national banks. The Supplement complements existing policy and guidance related to chartering (PDF), supervising, and resolving national banks. The Supplement was informed by comments received on the agency’s December 2016 paper discussing issues associated with chartering special purpose national banks. The OCC is soliciting comment on the draft Supplement for 30 days.

On December 2, 2016, the Comptroller of the Currency announced intent to make special purpose national bank charters available to financial technology companies. The agency published a paper discussing issues related to chartering special purpose national banks and solicited public comment to help inform its path forward.