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Acting OCC chief says US banks must continue to be careful with crypto

Michael Hsu, acting chief OCC advised regulated banks to take a "careful and cautious" approach when dealing with cryptocurrencies.

On September 7, Acting Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) chief Michael Hsu reaffirmed his views on cryptocurrencies at the annual conference of the Clearing House and Bank Policy Institute. Michael Hsu advised regulated banks to take a “careful and cautious” approach when it comes to crypto services to avoid harming the US economy. Hsu also spoke about “Safeguarding Trust in Banking” at the same conference the year before.When he was given his post, he stated that:

“I had a different viewpoint and noticed warning signs in Crypto’s explosive ascent. The OCC [Office of the Comptroller of the Currency] has taken a “careful and cautious” approach under my guidance.”

The approach was reflected in the OCC’s Interpretive Letter 1179, which was released in November of the previous year. Banks are permitted to perform crypto-related business, said the letter, “so long as the bank can satisfy its regulatory office that it has procedures in place to conduct the activity in a safe and sound manner.” However, Hsu, a critic of the crypto sector, convinced the government to revoke the approval. National banks and federal savings associations (FSA) that want to provide cryptocurrencies must go through rigorous screening procedures to guarantee that their operations will be carried out “safely, soundly, and fairly.”

Hsu mentioned the collapse of Terra and stablecoins as two instances of the disruptive potential of cryptocurrencies. He stated that the sector is going through “de-integration” as a result of the interaction between banks and fintech companies rapidly evolving. To further the goals of the law, the OCC, the Fed, and the FDIC jointly issued an appeal for comments on a plan to tighten and update CRA regulations earlier this year. 

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Vaishali Goel
Technology enthusiast, explorer and academic scholar. Currently exploring the crypto world. Join me in my journey to see how crypto, NFT and Metaverse will change the world.
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