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News Release 2019-49 | May 20, 2019

OCC Report Highlights Key Risks for Federal Banking System

WASHINGTON—The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) today reported credit, operational, compliance, and interest rate risks are key themes for the federal banking system in its Semiannual Risk Perspective for Spring 2019.

Highlights from the report include:

  • Credit quality is strong when measured by traditional performance metrics, but successive years of growth, incremental easing in underwriting, risk layering, and building credit concentrations result in accumulated risk in loan portfolios.
  • Operational risk is elevated as banks adapt to a changing and increasingly complex operating environment. Key drivers for operational risk include persistent cybersecurity threats as well as innovation in financial products and services, and increasing use of third parties to provide and support operations that are not effectively understood, implemented, and controlled.
  • Compliance risk related to Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering (BSA/AML) is high as banks remain challenged to effectively manage money laundering risks.
  • Interest rate risk and the related liquidity risk implications pose potential challenges to earnings given the uncertain rate environment, competitive pressures, changes in technology, and untested depositor behavior.

The report also highlights financial innovation and related impacts to strategic risk.

The report covers risks facing national banks and federal savings associations based on data as of December 31, 2018. The report presents information in five main areas: the operating environment, bank performance, special topics in emerging risk, trends in key risks, and supervisory actions. It focuses on issues that pose threats to those financial institutions regulated by the OCC and is intended as a resource to the industry, examiners, and the public.

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Bryan Hubbard
(202) 649-6870