OCC seeks comments on notice of proposed rulemaking to enhance business flexibility for federal savings associations
On September 10, the OCC issued a notice of proposed rulemaking to implement section 206 of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (previously Senate bill S. 2155), which amended the Home Owners’ Loan Act to permit federal savings associations (covered savings associations) with total consolidated assets of $20 billion or less, as of December 31, 2017, to elect to operate with national bank powers. Among other things, the proposed rule would require covered savings associations to divest, conform, or discontinue nonconforming subsidiaries, assets, and activities so as not operate in a manner that would be impermissible for national banks. Covered savings associations would also be subject to the same duties, restrictions, penalties, liabilities, conditions, and limitations that would apply to a similarly located national bank without requiring a charter conversion. The OCC further noted that even if a covered savings association’s assets exceed $20 billion after it makes the election, it will continue to receive covered savings association treatment. In addition, to reduce unnecessary burdens, covered savings associations are able to using federal savings association procedures, as opposed to national bank procedures, if the application of those procedures would not result in substantively different outcomes. Comments will be accepted for 60 days following publication in the Federal Register.