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NR 2005-56
Contact: Kevin Mukri
(202) 874-5770

OCC Publishes Ombudsman Report and Customer Assistance Brochure

WASHINGTON -- The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) today published the 2004 Report of the Ombudsman along with a brochure on customer assistance.

The Report summarizes appeals of national banks arising from the supervisory process and resolved by Ombudsman Samuel P. Golden. "The OCC’s ombudsman program is unique in one respect," said Mr. Golden. "The ombudsman has decision-making authority to resolve appeals and functions similar to a binding arbitrator."

The Report also addresses an OCC questionnaire to banks about the effectiveness of the supervisory process. The OCC received its most favorable rating related to the professionalism of the examination team and the responsiveness of OCC field examiners to bank needs.

The Office of the Ombudsman also includes the OCC's Customer Assistance Group (CAG). The Report notes that over 70,000 cases were opened in 2004, with credit cards being the product with the most number of complaints. During 2004, through CAG's assistance, over $4 million in disputed fees and other charges were returned to customers of national banks.

The brochure published today is a guide to customers of national banks. It outlines how to file a written complaint and what happens when a customer contacts the Customer Assistance Group. Q's and A's are also contained in the brochure on typical customer questions about banking issues.

The Report of the Ombudsman and the Customer Assistance Brochure are available online.

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