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OCC Eases Regulatory Requirements in Final Rule

January 3 – The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has released a final rule that removes outdated or unnecessary provisions of certain rules to reduce regulatory burden on national banks and federal savings associations.

The final rule is part of the agency’s decennial review of its rules required by the Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act of 1996 and follows four Federal Register notices and six outreach meetings conducted across the country since late 2014, which solicited comment from bankers, consumer and community groups, and other interested parties.

While the federal financial regulatory agencies are conducting the EGRPRA review jointly, this final rule affects regulations exclusive to the OCC and its supervision of national banks and federal savings associations.

The OCC rule specifically:

— Removes notice and approval requirements for certain changes in permanent capital involving national banks.

— Clarifies national bank director oath requirements.

— Removes certain financial disclosure requirements for national banks.

–Simplifies certain licensing rules for business combinations involving federal mutual savings associations;

— Removes unnecessary burden with respect to federal savings associations’ fidelity bond activities.

— Removes certain unnecessary regulatory reporting, accounting and management policy requirements for federal savings associations.

— Removes unnecessary requirements in the electronic activities rule for federal savings associations.

— Revises certain fiduciary activity requirements for national banks and federal savings associations, including increasing the asset size limit for mini-funds.

— Integrates and updates OCC rules for national banks and federal savings associations relating to municipal securities dealers, Securities Exchange Act disclosures, securities offering disclosures, and insider and affiliate transactions.

— Updates recordkeeping and confirmation requirements for national banks’ and federal savings associations’ securities transactions.

— Permits the electronic submission of filings required under the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

The OCC has taken several actions in addition to this final rule. These actions include a final rule issued last May that removed outdated or unnecessary licensing requirements, interagency efforts to streamline call report requirements, an interagency interim final rule that permits more qualifying community banks to be eligible for the 18-month examination cycle, and interagency guidance on the evaluation process in the appraisal rules.

Furthermore, the OCC has recommended legislative changes that would remove unnecessary burden, such as a community bank exemption from the Volcker rule and a proposal to provide federal savings associations with greater flexibility to adapt to changing economic and business environments and meet the needs of their communities.

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