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OCC Bulletin 2012-22 | August 23, 2012

Unique and Hard-to-Value Assets: New Comptroller’s Handbook Booklet


Chief Executive Officers of All National Banks and Federal Savings Associations, Department and Division Heads, All Examining Personnel, and Other Interested Parties

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) is issuing a new booklet of the Comptroller's Handbook in the asset management series. This booklet provides guidance to examiners and bankers on assessing the management of unique and hard-to-value assets. Assets managed by national banks and federal savings associations (collectively, banks) are varied and can include marketable securities, real estate, mineral interests, and closely held or private companies. Asset management accounts can hold insurance, collectibles as well as loans and leases. Many of these asset classes require specialized expertise, controls, and valuation methods.

Issues addressed in this booklet, titled "Unique and Hard-to-Value Assets," include the following:

  • Discussions of the types of unique and hard-to-value assets and the specific characteristics of each.
  • Asset review guidance including pre-acceptance, post-acceptance, and annual investment reviews.
  • The ways that each category class is typically managed, including valuation, ownership, and reporting issues.
  • Several appendixes, which include examples of fundamental management and reporting of unique assets.

In accordance with the OCC's supervision-by-risk approach, examiners generally use core examination procedures, found in the 2010 "Community Bank Supervision" booklet and the 2010 "Large Bank Supervision" booklet of the Comptroller's Handbook. Examiners supplement the procedures listed in these booklets, as appropriate, with the procedures detailed in this "Unique and Hard-to-Value Assets" booklet, for additional analysis of these asset types.

For more detailed guidance, please refer to the following bulletin and asset management interpretation:

Further Information

Questions and comments regarding this booklet should be directed to Joel Miller, Asset Management Group Leader, at (202) 649-6417, or Joseph Sifuentes, Asset Management Risk Specialist, at (202) 649-6360. To download a copy of this booklet, visit the Comptroller's Handbook Booklets page on

John C. Lyons Jr.

Senior Deputy Comptroller and
Chief National Bank Examiner