TCH submitted a comment letter to the OCC in response to an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) on bank digital activities. The ANPR sought to "evaluate whether [OCC] regulations effectively take into account the ongoing evolution of the financial services industry, promote economic growth and opportunity and ensure that banks operate in a safe and sound manner, provide fair access to financial services, treat customers fairly, and comply with applicable laws and regulations." The goals of the comment letter were to identify actions the OCC can take to facilitate bank development and adoption of technology, to provide feedback on specific questions related to cryptoassets and the ability of banks to innovate and adopt new technologies under existing regulations, and to note challenges from the OCC’s guidance on third party risk management. The letter made the following comments: 1) bank use of distributed ledger technology as well as activities involving cryptoassets are still developing, and TCH recommends the OCC focus on the underlying activities of banks instead of the technology used in support of those activities when evaluating risks inherent in specific applications; 2) TCH does not view the requirements in 12 C.F. R. part 7 as inhibiting bank development and adoption of technology (bank participation in newly-developed payment systems and adoption of enhancements to existing systems are supported by existing regulatory frameworks); 3) OCC guidance on third-party risk management and resulting oversight responsibilities can make collaboration between banks and technology companies challenging; and 4) the OCC should, in light of the pandemic, review its existing regulatory framework, including guidance, to ensure the regulations and guidance contemplate and address the safe and secure provision of payments-related services by banks from remote or alternate work locations.
To read the full comment letter click here.