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News Release 2017-149 | December 15, 2017

OCC Releases Examiner Guidance for Institutions Affected by Major Disasters

WASHINGTON — The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) issued guidance for examiners of national banks and federal savings association outlining the supervisory practices for assessing the condition of national banks, federal savings associations, and federal branches and agencies of foreign banks directly affected by a disaster that results in a Presidential declaration of a major disaster.

The OCC encourages any bank the operations or condition of which was adversely affected by a major disaster to contact and discuss remediation plans with its examiners. The guidance also applies to institutions that may be located outside the area declared a major disaster, but have loans to or investments in individuals or entities located in the area declared a major disaster. The guidance is being jointly issued with the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the National Credit Union Administration and in consultation with the Conference of State Bank Supervisors.

Examiners should expect management at affected banks to conduct initial risk assessments and have a process for refining such assessments as more complete information becomes available and recovery efforts proceed. The guidance advises examiners to consider the extent to which weaknesses in a bank’s financial condition are caused by external problems related to a major disaster and its aftermath.

The guidance released today complements OCC Bulletin 2012-28, “Responding to a Declaration of a Legal Holiday or a Natural Disaster: Supervisory Guidance on Natural Disasters and Other Emergency Conditions” (September 21, 2012), which addresses actions banks can take after a disaster has occurred to help customers and communities. The guidance released today is more detailed and focuses on how examiners should consider rating banks that have been adversely affected by a natural disaster in declared major disaster areas.

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