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About the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)

The map below shows the OCC's nationwide office locations.

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The mission of the OCC is to ensure that the federal banking system, comprising national banks and federal savings associations (also known as thrifts), operates in a safe and sound manner, provides fair access to financial services, treats customers fairly, and complies with applicable laws and regulations.

The OCC charters, regulates, and supervises these institutions and also licenses, regulates, and supervises federal branches and agencies of foreign banks. It oversees the organization and structure of the federal banking system, establishing a framework that encourages regulated entities to innovate and adapt to meet the evolving financial needs of the American people. The agency issues and implements regulations and takes appropriate enforcement action when shortcomings are identified.

The OCC and the federal banking system were created by the National Currency Act, which President Abraham Lincoln signed into law on February 25, 1863. In June 1864, the law was substantially revised and expanded, and in 1874 it was given a new name: the National Bank Act. As further amended, it remains the basic statute under which the OCC and national banks operate today. Federal savings associations (FSA) are governed by the Home Owners’ Loan Act of 1933.

The OCC pioneered many of the practices used today by bank regulators in the United States and around the world. These practices include the judicious use of examiners of different specialties, a multifaceted approach to assessing a bank’s condition, and a risk-centered, continuous approach to supervision and compliance. The OCC also developed the concept of bank supervision that integrates licensing, regulation, and examination.

The President, with the advice and consent of the U.S. Senate, appoints the Comptroller of the Currency to head the agency for a five-year term. The Comptroller serves as a director of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and is a member of the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) and the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC).

Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the OCC has 62 offices nationwide, including four district offices, and an office in London that supervises the international activities of national banks. The OCC’s nationwide staff of bank examiners conducts examinations of banks and provides sustained supervision of these institutions’ operations. Examiners analyze and assess asset quality, bank management, capital adequacy, earnings, liquidity, and sensitivity to market risk for all banks and assess compliance with applicable laws and regulations. Examiners also evaluate the adequacy of banks’ information systems, including cybersecurity; bank management’s ability to identify and control risk; and banks’ performance in helping to meet the credit needs of the communities in which they operate, pursuant to the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA).

In supervising
banks, the OCC
has the power to

Examine banks.

Approve, conditionally approve, or deny applications for new charters, branches, or other changes in corporate or banking structure.

Issue rules and regulations, legal interpretations, supervisory guidance, and corporate decisions governing investments, lending, and other practices by banks.

Take supervisory and enforcement actions against banks that do not comply with laws and regulations or that otherwise engage in unsafe or unsound practices.

four colored rings connecting to each duty of the OCC

Goals and Strategic Priorities

In 2014, the OCC adopted a five-year strategic plan to advance the agency’s capabilities as a preeminent financial regulator. To turn the strategic plan into shorter-term (12- to 18-month), coordinated actions, the OCC developed five strategic priorities, each of which was assigned to a member of its executive team. The OCC uses a “balanced scorecard,” an advanced strategic planning and management system, to measure its progress in achieving its goals and priorities.

Three Strategic
Goals

Goal 1

A vibrant and diverse system of national banks and federal savings associations that supports a robust U.S. economy.

Goal 2

"One OCC" focused on collaboration, innovation, coordination, and process efficiency.

Goal 3

The OCC is firmly positioned to continue to operate independently and effectively into the future.

three colored rings connecting to each goal

Five Strategic
Priorities

One

Refine, update, and align our supervisory approach.

Two

Enhance our value to the American public and the federal banking system.

Three

Operate more effectively.

Four

Match our workforce with our needs.

Five

Be a thought leader within the regulatory community.

five colored rings connecting to each priority