ABA, Trade Groups Urge Postponement of Figure Bank Charter Application

ABA and six other industry trade groups today urged the OCC to postpone its consideration of a charter application submitted by Reno, Nevada-based Figure Bank. The groups raised significant concerns about the application, including the implications of granting a bank charter to an organization that only accepts uninsured deposits.

In a letter to the OCC, the groups asked for a postponement until further public comment has been solicited and other banking regulators and the Department of Justice are consulted. “The precedent-shattering approach of granting a national bank charter to an institution that accepts only uninsured deposits would violate the Federal law, the consistently expressed intent of Congress and public policy considerations essential to the functioning of the nation’s financial system,” the groups said. “Conversely, approving a national bank charter for such an institution would provide a new pathway to evade the comprehensive regulatory regime established by Congress for banks and their affiliates.”

The groups added that granting a national bank charter to an uninsured depository institution would represent a significant policy shift “requiring the need for congressional action.” The letter also raised concern that public information released by the OCC about the proposed charter only includes “a skeletal description of Figure Bank’s proposed activities” and does not provide the public with a sufficient factual basis to comment on the application.