The US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) has revealed plans to set up a dedicated fintech innovation office to identify, understand, and respond to financial innovation affecting the federal banking system.

The Office of Innovation will be headed by a chief innovation officer assigned to OCC headquarters with a small staff located in Washington, New York, and San Francisco.

Beth Knickerbocker has been appointed as acting chief innovation officer to support implementation of the framework.

The innovation office, which will commence operations in first quarter 2017, will be the central point of contact for requests and information related to innovation.

The unit will establish a technical assistance program for banks and nonbanks, conduct research function and promote interagency collaboration.

US regulator said that it plans to publish a paper later this year discussing the issues associated with establishing a special purpose charter and seeking comment on the topic.

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Comptroller of the Currency Thomas Curry said: “The OCC supports responsible innovation that enhances the safety and soundness of the federal banking system, treats customers fairly, and promotes financial inclusion.

“By establishing an Office of Innovation, we are ensuring that institutions with federal charters have a regulatory framework that is receptive to responsible innovation and the supervision that supports it.”