Members of Congress Call on GAO to Analyze Effect of Regulatory Overlap on FinTech

Twelve U.S. members of Congress requested that the Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) address how the “fragmentation and overlap” described in its previous report affected the evolution of the “convergence of the financial and technological industries” (“FinTech”).

In a letter to the Comptroller General, the members of Congress urged GAO to “provide information” on the following questions:

  • How has fragmentation and overlap in financial regulation slowed innovation or restricted the ability of financial firms from pursuing new technological ventures?
  • How has collaboration between financial firms and FinTech innovators helped firms to streamline processes and increase their own efficiency in delivering products and services?
  • What kinds of challenges do financial institutions and FinTech companies experience within the existing regulatory framework?
  • How can regulators streamline partnership and collaboration processes in FinTech ventures for financial firms or technology entrepreneurs in order to help them obtain necessary resources?
  • What kinds of best practices can U.S. regulators employ in order to emulate the culture of collaboration that is fostered by the work of regulators in other countries?
Lofchie Comment: This request by members of Congress seems to be a response to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s recent report, which took what may be described as a regulator’s view of innovation: if it works, then it’s great, but if it doesn’t, then it’s potentially careless and in violation of the law. (See OCC Summarizes Latest Developments of Its Innovation Initiative (March 31, 2016).)