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Waters Opening Statement at Subcommittee Hearing on Trends in Financial Institution Charters

Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Committee on Financial Services, gave the following opening statement at a Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions virtual hearing entitled, “Banking Innovation or Regulatory Evasion? Exploring Trends in Financial Institution Charters.”

Thank you very much Chairman Perlmutter for holding this very important hearing.

The pandemic has accelerated the way people use technology to bank, obtain a loan, and make payments. At the same time, state regulators, community banks, credit unions, and consumer advocates have raised alarm about how new entities – including Big Tech firms– are receiving unconventional charters and offering banking products and services while evading regulations most banks, including community banks, comply with.

Additionally, the OCC has overstepped its authority, pretending that laws signed by Abraham Lincoln were intended to create charters for fintech or cryptocurrency. I look forward to hearing from our panel on how Congress can promote responsible innovation that does not lead to a regulatory race to the bottom where consumers get hurt and the safety and soundness of our financial system is once again imperiled.

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