Photo of James Stevens

James provides corporate and regulatory advice to our clients. He has substantial experience in the representation of public and private companies, including banks, neobanks, marketplace lenders, payments companies, crypto and DeFi companies, and other fintech and financial services providers in connection with formation, licensing, sponsorship and program agreements, mergers and acquisitions, debt and equity financing transactions, joint ventures, and regulatory reporting and compliance.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Act (FDIA) generally prohibits insured state banks, but not uninsured state member banks, from acting as principal in activities that are not permissible for national banks. Relying on its authority under the FDIA to limit the activities of state member banks, on January 27, 2023, the Federal Reserve Board (Fed) issued

On January 3, The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (the Agencies) issued a joint statement to banking organizations highlighting a number of risks associated with crypto-assets.

While the Agencies expressly state that “banking organizations are neither prohibited nor

On September 21 and 22, chief executives from the nation’s seven largest banks faced questioning before Congress, marking the third time senior bank officers have testified before Congress in the last three years. Senators remarked that only two were the same due to changes in CEOs and a decision to bring in super-regionals.

The first

In this episode of The Crypto Exchange, Troutman Pepper Consumer Financial Services Partner Ethan Ostroff welcomes James Stevens to examine recent crypto-related activities by banking regulators. Ethan and James discuss the regulators that interact with banks and financial institutions and their regulation of crypto activities, including the lack of consistency and its impact on

On August 19, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) issued cease and desist letters to five cryptocurrency companies, demanding they refrain from making allegedly false and misleading statements about deposit insurance.

“Based upon evidence collected by the FDIC, each of these companies made false representations — including on their websites and social media accounts —

On August 15, the Federal Reserve Board (Fed) issued final guidelines, outlining the tiered approach it will use when evaluating the growing requests from fintech firms and cryptocurrency companies for access to master accounts. The guidelines make clear that while requests from institutions with federal deposit insurance will be subject to a streamlined review, institutions

Please join Consumer Financial Services Partner Chris Willis and his guests and colleagues James Stevens and Carlin McCrory as they discuss the consumer protection and safety and soundness sides of credit union regulation. The discussion includes topics on the National Credit Union Administration’s 2022 consumer protection priorities, loan participations, the 2023 CECL implementation, and the

In a keynote address at the Consumer Federation of America’s 2022 Consumer Assembly, CFPB Deputy Director Zixta Martinez squarely took aim at “rent-a-bank schemes” in some of the first (if not the first) such comments by a senior CFPB official. Historically, the CFPB has confined itself to “true lender” litigation against participants in high-rate

On April 7, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) released a letter, requiring all FDIC-supervised institutions that intend to engage in, or that are currently engaged in, crypto-related activities to notify its FDIC Regional Director. The FDIC also encouraged institutions to notify their state regulator. The FDIC provided an initial noncomprehensive list of activities