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Subject: Tax Refund Anticipation Loans
Date: February 18, 2010
To: Chief Executive Officers and Compliance Officers of All National Banks, Department and Division Heads, and All Examining Personnel
Description: Guidance on Consumer Protection and Safety and Soundness
The attached policy statement sets forth the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s (OCC) expectations for national banks involved in providing tax refund-related products, including refund anticipation loans (RAL).
The OCC had previously issued guidance to OCC bank examiners regarding the conduct of RAL lending because the associated products present particular consumer protection and safety and soundness risks due to their unique repayment and cost structures, and banks’ reliance on third-party tax return preparers to offer the products. The OCC is issuing this policy, which is based on that examiner guidance, to enhance, clarify, and increase awareness of the OCC’s expectations for national banks’ involvement with RAL products.
This policy statement updates the prior guidance to examiners of banks offering tax refund anticipation loans and related products and specifies additional new requirements relating to consumer disclosures, contract terms, and compliance verification procedures. The OCC expects implementation to the extent practicable in 2010. For the enhanced consumer disclosures that may necessitate revisions to forms currently in use, implementation is expected for tax refund-related products offered in 2011. National banks are expected to incorporate these terms into any new, renewed, or revised contracts, as appropriate.
For further information concerning this guidance, please contact your supervisory office, the Compliance Policy Department at (202) 874-4428, or the Community and Consumer Law Division at (202) 874-5750.
Ann F. Jaedicke