Banking in the U.S. Got a Lot More Dangerous this Week
By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: August 3, 2018 ~
The Trump administration seems hellbent on turning every Federal regulator into a snake oil salesman. The latest scandal du jour comes yesterday from Politico’s Ben Lefebvre who reports that the Inspector General of the Interior Department is investigating whether the Interior’s head honcho, Ryan Zinke, colluded with the head of Halliburton to build him his dream brewery in his hometown of Whitefish, Montana.
Against that backdrop, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) announced on Tuesday that financial technology companies, known as fintech, which provide various types of banking activities other than accepting insured deposits, will now be allowed to apply for a special purpose national bank charter and operate across state lines. The OCC announcement promptly followed a report from the U.S. Treasury which recommended that the OCC make the charter available.
The immediate impact of gaining such a charter would be that online lenders who now must abide by state by state limits on the amount of interest they can