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Bank-fintech ventures benefit consumers, enhance competition: U.S. Treasury

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By Hannah Lang

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Partnerships between banks and financial technology companies are a net-positive for consumers when done responsibly, the Treasury Department will say in a report due on Wednesday.

The endorsement of bank-fintech relationships, with proper safeguards, comes as regulators have observed such arrangements growing at a rapid rate, raising concerns about what activities might fall outside the scope of regulation.

Although there may be gaps in how those relationships are regulated, a Treasury official said on Tuesday, partnerships between banks and fintech companies have given rise to new products targeted at specific communities that traditional financial institutions have not previously catered to.

Bank-fintech partnerships have also enabled companies to offer products at more competitive rates, the Treasury official said.

Regulators can both encourage competition and protect consumers largely with existing authorities, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a statement provided to Reuters ahead of the report.

The Treasury Department recommends in the…

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