North Carolina Rep. Patrick McHenry, the current high-ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee and chairman as of January, reintroduced legislation to create innovation offices within government agencies. responsible for financial services.
In a Dec. 19 announcement, McHenry said he had reintroduced the Financial Services Innovation Act — a bill he had previously pushed in 2016 and 2019. The legislation aimed to create offices within existing federal financial institutions that could help innovators — including those dealing with crypto and blockchain – a path to regulatory clarity in the United States.
According to McHenry, companies could seek an “enforceable compliance agreement” with the offices of agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which would allow a legal route without “obsolete or unduly burdensome” regulation. . He suggested the legislation was modeled after North Carolina’s regulatory sandbox program.
“It’s critical that our regulatory process works with financial innovation, rather than against it,” McHenry said. “My legislation will help financial institutions and entrepreneurs bring innovative products and services to market faster, while maintaining essential consumer protection safeguards. […] Republicans on the committee will continue to work toward an up-to-date regulatory framework that gives fintech companies clear rules on the path to success.
I am proud to reintroduce my bill to help spur financial innovation and inclusion.
The Financial Services Innovation Act follows the same model as North Carolina’s successful regulatory sandbox program.
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—Patrick McHenry (@PatrickMcHenry) December 19, 2022
Other federal agencies, including the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, have already announced their intention to establish innovation offices with a focus on fintech. The SEC launched a Strategic Center for Innovation and Financial Technology, or FinHub, in 2018, with the center becoming an independent office in 2020. The CFTC’s fintech research unit, LabCFTC, made a similar move in 2019. .
California Rep. Maxine Waters currently chairs the House Financial Services Committee, but McHenry will take over in January after Republican lawmakers win majority control by 222 votes to 213 in the House of Representatives. Under Waters and McHenry, the House committee made many bipartisan efforts to deal with the collapse of crypto exchange FTX and potential actions against former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried.