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Partner Bank Compliance and the Impact on Fintech
Last month, Bancorp Bank, a U.S. bank that commonly partners with fintech companies via its parent company Bancorp, transitioned from a state-based banking charter to a national one. In parallel, over the past few months, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) — the federal regulator that charters and regulates national banks — has been more carefully reviewing the relationship between partner banks and fintech companies. Together, these recent changes signal that the role and responsibility of partner banks, as well as the cost of operation and compliance, is likely to evolve in the coming months.
As we know, the approximately 90 U.S. partner banks, in partnership with banking-as-a-service (BaaS) software providers, enable fintech companies to offer banking products like debit cards, bank accounts, lending products, and access to the national payments network, without needing to…