最有看点的互联网金融门户

最有看点的互联网金融门户
传统金融的互联网化全新的互联网金融模式国际资讯

SoFi与Square能否有机会拿到银行牌照?

美国金融服务业有一个鲜为人知的分支--工业贷款公司(ILC),也被称为工业银行,今年它引起了替代金融借贷公司的注意。虽然ILC已经存在了近一百年,但灵活的结构和合规性又一次将它带到市场前沿。SoFi、Square等专业金融科技公司在申请ILC牌照,但可能机会不大,因为这一牌照十年来还没有公司获批。该牌照允许不同类型的公司在不满足《银行控股公司法》要求的条件下拥有银行。因此,非常有必要了解一下ILC结构将如何改变银行市场游戏规则。Covington&Burling LLP合伙人Mike Nonaka就ILC的一些重大问题作了解释。

Covington & Burling LLP是谁?

Covington & Burling LLP由法官J. Harry Covington与Edward B. Burling于1919年成立,总部设在华盛顿特区。公司聘请了1000多名律师和顾问,提供诉讼与调查、监管与公共政策、兼并与收购等领域的法律服务。其客户范围横跨各大公司与行业协会。数十年来他们也为各在线借贷公司及金融机构提供不同的监管建议。

什么是ILC?

ILC是各州发放牌照、联邦存款保险公司(FDIC)监督的储蓄机构,其存款由联邦存款保险公司保障。犹他州是发放牌照最多的地方,十家最大的ILC中有八家出自犹他州。同时它的行业产值占有率也高达90%。

加利福尼亚州、科罗拉多州、明尼苏达州、印第安纳州、夏威夷和内华达州陆续允许开设ILC。《银行控股公司法》把ILC从"银行"的定义中剔除,因此经营ILC的企业不受美联储监管,也不受资本要求、许多其他监管要求约束。因此,对想要拥有银行的商业公司、金融公司来说,ILC牌照吸引力很大。

拥有ILC的企业不受任何限制,它们既可以从事本身的商业业务,也可以从事银行业务。经营银行的公司类型通常会受限制,如商业公司可能就不被允许经营银行,但拥有ILC的企业可以免受此限制。许多商业公司和金融服务公司,如Merrill Lynch、UBS、Morgan Stanley、BMW及Harley-Davidson都创建了工业银行。

有关ILC的争议

监管机构担心银行业与传统商业的结合会给商业公司带来不公平的优势,而且这种"并行银行体系"将使整个国家的金融体系都不平衡。

在2005年沃尔玛想要收购ILC时、Home Depot买下犹他州EnerBank时、CMS Energy Corp拥有了ILC时,关于它们的争论都大规模爆发。这些大公司的申请引起了大量负面评论,成千上万的意见信寄到FDIC,它于2006年就沃尔玛的申请举行了公开听证会。随后,98位国会议员要求暂停批准新的商业公司获得ILC。2006年7月,FDIC发出为期六个月的ILC申请暂停公告。

联邦存款保险让企业有权进入美联储的贴现窗口和支付系统,可以免受《银行控股公司法》限制,自由经营公司业务,这使ILC牌照对替代贷款公司极具吸引力。银行也注意到了这一发展,受联邦保险保障的存款能让替代借贷公司吸引到储户和低成本基金,从而造成存款竞争。

SoFi申请ILC牌照

2017年6月6日SoFi提交了牌照申请,很难预测FDIC是否会批准这一申请。但Nonaka认为SoFi已经拟定了一份相当引人注目的申请。至于SoFi是否符合法定标准,那将由FDIC和国家监管机构决定,但观察监管机构如何应对公众对SoFi申请的意见还是非常有趣的。在Nonaka看来,SoFi是一家成熟的公司,在FDIC关注的很多领域都建立了风险控制管理,这是它的申请如此引人注目的原因之一。但另一方面,前美国证券交易委员会(SEC)官员曾说,SoFi最近的丑闻可能使它获得ILC牌照的希望变小。

SoFi于2017年6月提出申请,当时它的股本资本额超过19亿美元,有近1.7亿美元的银行业务专款,在处理财务资源上它确实是个传奇。

Square申请ILC牌照

Square于2017年9月提出申请ILC牌照。Nonaka说,SoFi是一家在线借贷公司,而Square则是一家支付公司,因此它们的申请将被从不同的角度进行判断。和其它申请公司一样,FDIC将会评估Square的管理能力、公司管控能力、业务流程和财务稳定性。

银行机构倾向于对新机构的风险资本与流动性要求更高。例如,与传统银行相比,监管机构会要求新机构提供更高的资本基础。但Square Inc.是一家市值约110亿美元的上市公司,这些财务上的不确定性应该不会成为公司的重大障碍。

Varo Money

Varo Money向消费者提供手机优先的银行产品,并已向FDIC与美国货币监理署(OCC)申请了传统国家银行牌照。如果获得批准,它们也会获得受保障的存款,并与其他实体银行一样运作。

该公司相对较年轻,已经从Warburg Pincus融资约2700万美元。

与ILC牌照相比,OCC金融科技牌照目前还未开放使用,但国家监管机构与FDIC正在接受申请。然而,OCC还在对牌照相关问题进行讨论。因此,只有等牌照获准发行后,Varo Money才会知道自己的申请裁决。

更重要的是,OCC牌照不要求申请人必须提供FDIC担保存款,因此,如果金融科技公司因想开展存款业务而申请特殊牌照,它们同时还需要申请FDIC批准。另一方面,依据FDIC牌照范围与业务批准,ILC能够提供FDIC担保的存款业务。因此,申请OCC金融科技牌照的公司要想拥有与申请ILC牌照公司相似的资金优势,它们还需要遵循与ILC申请公司类似的流程。

消费者金融保障局(CFPB):不干涉就是好消息

Upstart Network Inc.是一家使用"非传统变量(如教育和就业)预测客户信誉"的个人贷款平台,最近这家公司发生了一件具有突破性意义的事件--它收到一封"不干涉"信件。根据CFPB的说法,"这封信表明,CFPB的工作人员如今并没有依照《信贷机会均等法》向Upstart启动监督调查或进行执法行动的意图。"

金融科技创业公司寻求利用不同数据来发起贷款,而CFPB正在努力赶上这些创新信贷模式,这对金融科技公司来说是一个好兆头。

金融科技银行的未来

Nonaka认为金融监管改革将会对替代贷款系统感兴趣。这种改革可能甚至包括国会立法。

SoFi和Square ILC的申请结果非常值得关注,其他公司目前也在观望FDIC和犹他州的决定。如果它们的申请获批,那么对ILC牌照感兴趣的公司会越来越多。ILC可能不会使传统实体银行终结,但它可能会催生一种全新的银行,这种银行能够在英国的挑战者银行(challenger bank)、包括Monzo、Moven在内的新兴银行(neobank)及反对ILC牌照的传统银行之间适应发展。

A little-known segment of U.S. financial services – Industrial Loan Companies (ILC), also known as industrial banks – have captured the interest of alternative lenders this year. Even though ILCs have been around for nearly 100 years, their flexible structure and compliance has brought them again to the forefront. Fintech majors like SoFi and Square have applied for this obscure charter last granted a decade ago. The charter allows diversified companies to own a bank without having to comply with the requirements of the Bank Holding Company Act. Therefore, it is imperative to understand how this ILC structure could be a game changer. Mike Nonaka, Partner at Covington & Burling LLP, addresses some of the bigger issues around ILCs.

Who is Covington and Burling LLP?

Covington & Burling LLP was founded by Judge J. Harry Covington and Edward B. Burling in 1919 and has its headquarters in Washington DC. The firm employs over 1,000 lawyers and advisers, and provides legal services in fields like litigation and investigations, regulatory and public policy, and mergers and acquisitions. Its clientele ranges from large companies to trade associations. They have also advised various online lenders and other financial institutions on different regulatory issues for decades.

What is an ILC?

An ILC is a state-chartered depository institution that is supervised by the state and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), and whose deposits are insured by the FDIC. Utah industrial banks are the most popular state charters with eight out of the 10 largest ILCs. The state’s ILCs also account for 90 percent of the industry’s assets.

California, Colorado, Minnesota, Indiana, Hawaii, and Nevada are other states that have permitted ILCs at various times. Since an ILC is exempted from the definition of “bank” in the Bank Holding Company Act, a company that owns an ILC is not subject to Federal Reserve supervision, capital requirements, and a number of other regulatory requirements. This makes the ILC charter an attractive option for commercial companies interested in owning a bank, as well as for financial firms with the same interest.

A company that owns an ILC can engage in banking activities as well as in activities that are commercial in nature, since they are not subject to any restrictions. There generally are restrictions on the types of companies that can own a bank – commercial companies may not own a bank – but the owner of an ILC is exempt from this restriction. Many commercial companies and financial services firms like Merrill Lynch, UBS, Morgan Stanley, BMW, and Harley-Davidson have set up industrial banks.

The ILC Controversy

Regulators fear that mixing banking with traditional commerce will give an unfair advantage to commercial companies and a “parallel banking system” will unbalance the entire financial system of the country.

Controversy erupted when Wal-Mart wanted to acquire an ILC in 2005, and when Home Depot emerged as a buyer for Utah-based EnerBank, an ILC owned by CMS Energy Corp. Applications by these giants attracted a lot of negative attention, and thousands of comment letters were sent to the FDIC, which held a public hearing on the Wal-Mart application in 2006. Subsequently, 98 members of Congress requested a moratorium on approval of new commercially-owned ILCs. In July 2006, the FDIC issued a six-month moratorium on ILC applications.

Federal deposit insurance, access to the Federal Reserve’s discount window and payment systems, all along with the freedom to run the company’s business free from restrictions under the Bank Holding Company Act are what makes an ILC charter extremely appealing for alternative lenders. Banks are taking note of this development, as federally insured deposits would allow alternative lenders to attract savers and low-cost funds, creating competition for deposits.

SoFi’s ILC Application

It is hard to predict whether the FDIC will approve the SoFi application, submitted on June 6, 2017. But Nonaka believes that SoFi has put together a compelling application. Whether SoFi is fulfilling the statutory criteria or not will be decided by the FDIC and state regulators, and it will be interesting to see how regulators react to the public comments on the SoFi application. What makes the SoFi application so compelling in Nonaka’s eyes is the fact that the company is a mature company with established risk management controls in a lot of the areas the FDIC is concerned about. On the other hand, a former SEC head is on the record for saying SoFi’s recent scandals may put the ILC charter further out of reach for the company.

SoFi applied in June 2017, and with an equity capitalization of over $1.9 billion and almost a $170 million war chest for capitalizing bank operations, has a strong story to tell with regard to its financial resources.

Square’s ILC Application

Square applied for an ILC charter in September 2017. SoFi is an online lender whereas Square is more of a payments company, thus their applications will be judged from different angles, Nonaka said. The FDIC will evaluate Square, like other applicants, in terms of its management expertise, controls the company has in place, its business processes, and its financial stability.

Banking agencies tend to impose higher risk-based capital and liquidity requirements on new institutions. For example, regulators require a higher capital base for new institutions as compared to traditional banks already in operation. Considering that Square Inc. is a listed company with a market cap of around $11 billion, these financial uncertainties should not be insurmountable hurdles for the firm.

Varo Money

Varo Money provides a mobile-first banking product to consumers and has applied for a traditional national bank charter with the FDIC and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). If approved, they will also be able to offer insured deposits, and they will operate as any other brick-and-mortar bank.

The company is relatively young and has raised around $27 million from Warburg Pincus.

The OCC fintech charter is currently not available as compared to the ILC charter, for which the state regulator and FDIC are accepting applications. However, the OCC is in discussion stages regarding the charter. Therefore, Varo Money will not see a ruling on its application until the charter is approved.

More importantly, the OCC fintech charter does not necessitate the applicant offering FDIC-insured deposits, and any proposal for a fintech company to obtain the special purpose charter to offer such deposits also would need to apply for FDIC approval. An ILC, on the other hand, will be able to offer deposits insured by the FDIC given its charter and approval from the FDIC. Thus, in order for an OCC fintech charter applicant to have the same funding advantages as an ILC, the applicant would need to follow similar processes as applicants for an ILC.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB): No Action is a Good Action

One groundbreaking event that happened recently was the issuance of a “no-action” letter to Upstart Network Inc, a lending marketplace for personal loans using “non-traditional variables like education and employment, to predict creditworthiness.” According to the CFPB, “the letter signifies that Bureau staff has no present intent to recommend initiation of supervisory or enforcement action against Upstart with respect to the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.”

The CFPB playing catch up to the innovation in credit models is a good sign for fintech startups looking to leverage diverse data points for originating loans.

The Future of Fintech Banks

Nonaka believes financial regulatory reform will be of great interest to the alternative-lending ecosystem. This reform may involve Congressional legislation.

The decisions on SoFi’s and Square’s ILC applications will be noteworthy as other companies currently are waiting on the sidelines to see the FDIC’s and Utah’s decisions. Approvals of the applications will bring in even more interest in the ILC charter. It may not put an end to traditional brick-and-mortar banks, but it could lead to an all new type of bank that fits in somewhere between challenger banks in the UK and neobanks such as Monzo and Moven and the legacy banks opposing ILC charters.


用微信扫描可以分享至好友和朋友圈

扫描二维码或搜索微信号“iweiyangx”
关注未央网官方微信公众号,获取互联网金融领域前沿资讯。

发表评论

发表评论

您的评论提交后会进行审核,审核通过的留言会展示在下方留言区域,请耐心等待。

评论

您的个人信息不会被公开,请放心填写! 标记为的是必填项

取消

吕林倩未央编辑团队

123
总文章数

TA还没写个人介绍。。。

[未央翻译]Fintech国际资讯周报|2017年第46周

高旭 22小时前

德、法、意、俄变身欧洲金融科技新兴目标市场

高旭 1天前

谁将成为风投大鳄Index Ventures的下一个目标?

吕林倩 11-14

Fintech上市再添一员,Credible计划登陆澳交所

David Tuck... 11-14

香港网贷平台WeLab再获2.2亿美元融资,阿里、世行参投

Alfred Liu 11-09

版权所有 © 清华大学五道口金融学院互联网金融实验室 | 京ICP备17044750号-1