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News Release 2016-27 | March 14, 2016

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency Proposes Rule Changes to Reduce Regulatory Burden

WASHINGTON — The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) today proposed to remove outdated or unnecessary provisions of certain rules to reduce regulatory burden on national banks and federal savings associations.

The proposal is part of the agency’s decennial review of its rules required by the Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act (EGRPRA) of 1996 and follows three 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 federal financial regulatory agencies are conducting the EGRPRA review jointly, this proposal affects rules exclusive to the OCC and its supervision of national banks and federal savings associations. Rather than delaying proposed changes until the completion of the EGRPRA review at the end of the year, the OCC is seeking to reduce undue burden sooner where possible.

This proposed rule complements other actions the OCC has taken, separately and with the other federal financial regulatory agencies, to further the EGRPRA mandate. These actions include an OCC final rule issued last May that removed outdated or unnecessary licensing requirements, interagency efforts to streamline Call Report requirements, an interagency interim final rule that permits more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, most recently, 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.

The OCC is continuing to review EGRPRA comments and may consider additional changes to OCC rules as the EGRPRA review progresses.

Today, the OCC specifically proposes to:

  • remove notice and approval requirements for certain changes in permanent capital involving national banks;
  • simplify certain licensing rules for business combinations involving federal mutual savings associations;
  • clarify national bank director oath requirements;
  • remove unnecessary burden with respect to federal savings associations’ fidelity bond activities;
  • revise certain fiduciary activity requirements for national banks and federal savings associations, including increasing the asset size limit for mini-funds;
  • remove certain financial disclosure requirements for national banks;
  • remove certain unnecessary regulatory reporting, accounting, and management policy requirements for federal savings associations;
  • remove unnecessary requirements in the electronic activities rule for federal savings associations;
  • integrate and update 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;
  • permit the electronic submission of filings required under the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934; and
  • update recordkeeping and confirmation requirements for national banks’ and federal savings associations’ securities transactions.

Comments must be received within 60 days of the Federal Register notice publication.

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Bryan Hubbard
(202) 649-6870