Merkley Expresses Concern that OCC FinTech Charter Plan Will Allow Lenders to “Sink to the Lowest Common Denominator”

Merkley Expresses Concern that OCC FinTech Charter Plan Will Allow Lenders to “Sink to the Lowest Common Denominator”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon's Senator Jeff Merkley released the following statement after the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) laid out plans to create a new national charter for financial technology, or “FinTech,” firms:

"The emerging FinTech market has the potential for great innovation and expansion of opportunity. However, without proper safeguards, it will become a breeding ground for predatory practices that gouge consumers and small business owners and undermine the vast majority of entrepreneurs trying to operate responsibly. I am deeply concerned that the OCC’s plan to offer a national charter will weaken consumer protection standards in online lending and allow FinTech firms to sink to the lowest common denominator rather than abiding by stronger state laws, such as Oregon’s payday lending law. Innovation and consumer protection need not be mutually exclusive, and I will continue working with the OCC to make sure that they pursue both with equal vigor."