New OCC chief calls for review of digital currency rules

The new acting comptroller of the currency at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) has called for a review of the agency’s digital currency rule-making, in prepared remarks delivered to the House Financial Services Committee.

Michael Hsu, who took over at the banking regulator following the departure of Brian Brooks, requested that staff at the OCC review their approach to digital currency, including updating its charter framework for banks and other institutions, its approach to digital currency custody services, and setting up a new Office of Innovation.

“At the OCC, the focus has been on encouraging responsible innovation. I have asked staff to review these actions.”

Hsu said the current approach to regulating digital currency was fragmented between different agencies, and called for a more unified response to setting legal parameters for the sector.

“To the extent there is interagency coordination, it tends to be tactical, to deal with a pressing issue, such as Facebook’s Diem.”

In particular, Hsu said he considered the initiatives were not developed with support from stakeholders in the industry, which he suggested should be a priority in order to get the best results.

“My broader concern is that these initiatives were not done in full coordination with all stakeholders. Nor do they appear to have been part of a broader strategy related to the regulatory perimeter. I believe addressing both of these tasks should be a priority.”

Hsu suggested his main focus in reviewing the rules was to ensure OCC-regulated banks were able to “operate in a safe and sound manner, meet the credit needs of their communities, treat all customers fairly, and comply with laws and regulations.”

Hsu assumed his role following the departure of Brooks in January, who has gone on to become CEO at Binance U.S.

See also: CoinGeek Live panel on Regulation of Digital Assets & Digital Asset Businesses

YouTube video

New to blockchain? Check out CoinGeek’s Blockchain for Beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about blockchain technology.