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  • OCC seeks comments on notice of proposed rulemaking to raise recovery planning standards threshold to $250 billion

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance

    On September 19, the OCC issued a notice of proposed rulemaking to revise its 2016 guidelines on recovery planning standards for insured national banks, insured federal savings associations, and insured federal branches. The OCC seeks to raise the average total consolidated assets threshold from $50 billion to $250 billion, and give banks above the threshold 12 months instead of 18 months to comply with the guidelines. The proposed rule would also make technical amendments to remove outdated compliance dates. According to the OCC, a threshold increase would tailor the focus on “institutions that present greater systemic risk to the banking system.” The proposal is also consistent with the scope of the FDIC and Federal Reserve Board’s resolution planning threshold, which was raised from $50 billion to $250 billion as part of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act.

    Comments on the proposal are due by November 5.

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance OCC EGRRCPA S. 2155

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  • Federal and state financial regulatory agencies issue interagency disaster relief guidance for institutions affected by Hurricane Florence

    Federal Issues

    On September 14, the OCC, Federal Reserve Board, FDIC, NCUA, and the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (collectively, the “agencies”) issued a joint statement providing guidance to financial institutions impacted by Hurricane Florence. The agencies encouraged lenders to work with borrowers in impacted communities and to consider, among other things, (i) whether to modify loans based on the facts and circumstances, and (ii) requesting to operate temporary bank facilities if faced with operational difficulties. On the same day, the FDIC also provided guidance for depository institutions assisting affected customers (see FIL-48-2018), which may include “waiving fees, increasing ATM cash limits, easing credit card limits, allowing loan customers to defer or skip payments, and delaying the submission of delinquency notices to credit bureaus.” Furthermore, the FDIC encouraged depository institutions to use Bank Secrecy Act-permitted “non-documentary verification methods” for customers unable to provide standard identification documents.

    The agencies also reminded institutions to contact their appropriate federal and/or state regulator should they experience disaster-related difficulties when complying with publishing and regulatory reporting requirements, and further noted that institutions may receive favorable Community Reinvestment Act consideration for community development loans, investments, and services in support of disaster recovery. The statement also provides links to previously issued examiner guidance for institutions affected by major disasters.

    Find continuing InfoBytes coverage on disaster relief here.

    Federal Issues OCC Federal Reserve FDIC NCUA CSBS Consumer Finance Mortgages Bank Secrecy Act Disaster Relief

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  • NYDFS files lawsuit over OCC’s fintech charter decision

    Fintech

    On September 14, New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) Superintendent, Maria T. Vullo, filed a lawsuit against the OCC arguing that the agency’s decision to allow fintech companies to apply for a Special Purpose National Bank Charter (SPNB) is a “lawless” and “ill-conceived” move that will destabilize financial markets more effectively regulated by the state. As previously covered in InfoBytes, last December the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed NYDFS’ previous challenge because the court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over NYDFS’ claims since the OCC had yet to finalize its plans to actually issue SPNBs. However, in light of the OCC’s July announcement welcoming nondepository fintech companies engaged in one or more core banking functions to apply for a SPNB (previously covered by Buckley Sandler Special Alert here), Superintendent Vullo once again issued a challenge to the OCC’s decision, arguing that it is unlawful and grants federal preemptive powers over state law. Among other things, NYDFS requests the court to (i) declare that the OCC’s decision to grant SPNBs exceeds its statutory authority under the National Bank Act, and specifically that the decision improperly defines the “‘business of banking’ to include non-depository institutions,” and (ii) enjoin the OCC “from taking further actions to implement its provisions.”

    Fintech Courts NYDFS OCC State Issues Fintech Charter

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  • OCC updates Comptroller’s Handbook booklet to address deposit-related credit

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance

    On September 12, the OCC issued Bulletin 2018-28, which updates the “Deposit-Related Credit” booklet of the Comptroller’s Handbook previously issued March 2015. The booklet provides guidance for OCC examiners to be used in connection with the examination and supervision of national banks and federal savings associations who offer small-dollar, unsecured deposit-related credit products and services, such as check credit, overdraft protection, and deposit advance products. The booklet also includes, among other things, (i) updated guidance following the rescission of OCC Bulletin 2013-40, “Deposit Advance Products: Final Supervisory Guidance,” (previously covered by InfoBytes here) and the issuance of OCC Bulletin 2018-14, “Installment Lending: Core Lending Principles for Short-Term, Small-Dollar Installment Lending” (previously covered by InfoBytes here); (ii) information concerning limitations and requirements for consumer credit products extended to active-duty servicemembers covered by the Military Lending Act; (iii) integrated citations to third-party risk management guidance and procedures; (iv) information pertaining to new products and services, including sound due diligence practices; and (v) prohibitions against unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices under Dodd-Frank.

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance OCC Comptroller's Handbook Deposit Products Examination Supervision Military Lending Act

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  • Agencies say supervisory guidance does not have the “force and effect” of law

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance

    On September 11, five federal agencies (the Federal Reserve Board, CFPB, FDIC, NCUA, and OCC) issued a joint statement confirming that supervisory guidance “does not have the force and effect of law, and [that] the agencies do not take enforcement actions based on supervisory guidance.” The statement distinguishes the various types of supervisory guidance—interagency statements, advisories, bulletins, policy statements, questions and answers, and frequently asked questions—from laws or regulations and emphasizes that the intention of supervisory guidance is to outline agencies’ expectations or priorities. The statement highlights five policies and practices related to supervisory guidance: (i) limit the use of numerical thresholds or other “bright-line” requirements; (ii) examiners will not cite to “violations” of supervisory guidance; (iii) request for public comment does not mean the guidance has the force and effect of law; (iv) limit multiple issuances of guidance on the same topic; and (v) continue to emphasize the role of supervisory guidance to examiners and to supervised institutions.

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance Federal Reserve CFPB FDIC NCUA OCC Supervision Examination Enforcement

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  • OCC seeks comments on notice of proposed rulemaking to enhance business flexibility for federal savings associations

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance

    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.

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance OCC S. 2155 Bank Charter

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  • OCC notifies banks of 18-month on-site examination qualifications

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance

    On September 10, the OCC notified national banks, federal savings associations, and federal branches and agencies of the interim final rule issued jointly by the OCC, Federal Reserve, and FDIC allowing qualified insured depository institutions with less than $3 billion in total assets to be eligible for an 18-month on-site examination cycle. (See previous InfoBytes coverage here.) In addition to meeting the asset threshold, qualifying banks must also (i) have a rating of one or two; (ii) be well capitalized and well managed; (iii) not be subject to a federal banking agency’s formal enforcement proceeding or order; and (iv) not have experienced a change of control within the previous 12 months. The OCC further noted that it reserves the authority to maintain more frequent examinations for banks if necessary or appropriate. The interim final rule, issued pursuant to the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (previously Senate bill S. 2155), took effect August 29. Comments on the interim final rule must be received by October 29.

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance OCC Examination S. 2155 Federal Reserve FDIC

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  • OCC provides guidance to institutions affected by Hurricane Florence

    Federal Issues

    On September 11, the OCC issued a proclamation permitting OCC-regulated institutions to close their offices affected by Hurricane Florence in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic. The OCC noted that only institutions directly impacted by potentially unsafe conditions should close, and that those offices should attempt to reopen as soon as possible to serve their customers’ banking needs. OCC Bulletin 2012-28 provides further guidance on natural disasters and other emergency conditions.

    Find continuing InfoBytes coverage on disaster relief here.

    Federal Issues OCC Disaster Relief

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  • Agencies issue guidance to institutions affected by storms in Gulf Coast and Hurricane Lane in Hawaii

    Federal Issues

    On September 5, the OCC issued a proclamation permitting OCC-regulated institutions to close their offices affected by Tropical Storm Gordon in the Gulf Coast Region. OCC Bulletin 2012-28 provides further guidance on natural disasters and other emergency conditions.

    On August 30, the Department of Veterans Affairs issued Circular 26-18-17, requesting relief for homeowners impacted by Hurricane Lane in Hawaii. Among other things, the Circular (i) encourages loan holders to extend forbearance to borrowers in distress because of the storms; (ii) requests that loan holders establish a 90-day moratorium on initiating new foreclosures on loans affected by the major disaster; and (iii) waives late charges on affected loans. The Circular is effective until October 1, 2019.

    Find continuing InfoBytes coverage on disaster relief here.

    Federal Issues OCC Department of Veterans Affairs Disaster Relief Mortgages Foreclosure Forbearance

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  • OCC updates Comptroller’s Handbook, issues guidance on “other real estate owned”

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance

    On August 31, the OCC issued Bulletin 2018-26, which updates the “Other Real Estate Owned” booklet of the Comptroller’s Handbook and provides guidance for examiners on the acquisition, reporting, management, and disposition of other real estate owned (OREO) held by supervised banks and federal savings associations. The OCC commented that while the booklet’s focus is on foreclosed real property, the guidance may also “apply to other types of foreclosed (repossessed) property, such as consumer and commercial goods, financial instruments, and intangible assets.” Foreclosed assets for reporting purposes include “loans where a bank has received physical possession of a borrower’s assets, regardless of whether formal proceedings take place.” Additional updates include (i) accounting changes for OREO sales by public and non-public business entities; (ii) interim guidance for federal savings associations on the OREO holding period; and (iii) clarifications concerning supervisory guidance and risk management practices, including third-party risk management guidance issued since the booklet was last published in 2013.

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance OCC Comptroller's Handbook Examination

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