On March 30, 2022, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) released a proposed policy statement related to sound management of exposures to climate-related financial risks (the “Proposal”). The Proposal is targeted at FDIC-supervised financial institutions with more than $100 billion in total consolidated assets (“covered banks”) and is intended to provide a high-level framework for
Karen Solomon advises clients on a broad range of financial services regulatory matters. Karen’s extensive experience working in agencies that supervise national banks and Federal savings associations enables her to offer an informed, practical approach to addressing regulatory issues.
Before joining Covington, Karen served as the Acting Senior Deputy Comptroller and Chief Counsel at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). In that role and in her prior role as Deputy Chief Counsel, Karen’s work included developing and drafting regulations and advising on issues involving bank powers, structure, compliance, and preemption as well as on licensing, legislative, and litigation-related matters. She had a leadership role in key OCC initiatives, including the agency’s implementation of the Volcker rule, recent fintech chartering initiative, and federal preemption efforts. She also worked extensively with other Federal agencies on joint or collaborative regulatory projects. Karen joined the OCC in 1995. Before that, she was Deputy Chief Counsel at the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) and, earlier, held senior positions at the OTS’s predecessor agency, the Federal Home Loan Bank Board.
OCC Releases New Interpretation of Preemption Procedures
On December 18, 2020, the OCC released a new interpretation of the statutory standards and requirements for federal preemption of state consumer financial laws that were enacted as part of the Dodd-Frank Act. Section 1044 of Dodd-Frank, codified at 12 U.S.C. § 25b, contains both substantive and procedural preemption provisions. The OCC’s Interpretive Letter…
OCC Proposes Rule Codifying Standards for Investment in Bank Premises
On January 4, 2021, the OCC issued a proposed rule codifying standards governing a national bank’s or federal savings association’s investment in real estate used, or to be used, as bank premises. Specifically, the proposed rule would revise 12 C.F.R. § 7.1024 in order to create a more transparent and consistent set of principles for evaluating the acquisition and use of national bank and federal savings association premises.
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OCC Proposes “Fair Access” Requirements for Large Banks
On November 20, 2020, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) issued a proposed rule that would impose on large national banks and federal savings associations (collectively, “banks”) a requirement to provide “fair access” to the financial products and services those institutions offer. The proposal is intended to preclude the banks it covers…
OCC Issues True Lender Rule
On October 27, 2020, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) issued a final rule that determines when a national bank or Federal savings association (collectively, “banks”) makes a loan and therefore is the “true lender” in the context of a partnership between a bank and a third party. The rule provides that a bank makes a loan if, as of the date of origination, it (1) is named as the lender in the loan agreement or (2) it funds the loan. It differs from the proposed rule only in providing that, in the case where one bank is named as the lender in the loan agreement and a different bank funds the loan, the bank named in the agreement is the one that makes the loan.
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Federal and State Regulators Issue Interagency Guidance Regarding Assessing Safety and Soundness During COVID-19
On June 23, 2020, the Federal Reserve, FDIC, OCC, NCUA, and state financial regulators (“the agencies”) issued guidance outlining the supervisory principles for assessing the safety and soundness of institutions amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The guidance highlights that while examiners will consider the unique stresses caused by COVID-19 on financial institutions, the agencies will continue to assess institutions in accordance with existing policies and procedures and may provide supervisory feedback, or downgrade institutions’ composite or component ratings under the applicable rating system when conditions have deteriorated. Although an assessment may result in a lower rating, in determining the appropriate supervisory response, examiners will consider whether weaknesses were caused by external economic problems related to the pandemic or by intrinsic risk management and governance issues. Overall, the guidance suggests that while examiners will take into account the unique impact of the pandemic on financial institutions, ratings will depend on each individual institution’s ability to assess and manage risk appropriately, including taking appropriate action in response to stresses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
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OCC Issues Final Rule Clarifying Permissible Interest on Loans Sold to Third Parties by National Banks and Federal Savings Associations
On May 29, 2020, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (the “OCC”) issued a final rule to clarify that the interest on a loan originated by a national bank (or a Federal savings association), if permissible when the loan was originated, continues to be permissible after the loan is sold, assigned, or otherwise transferred to a third party. The OCC’s regulation interprets section 85 of the National Bank Act, which prescribes the interest that a national bank may charge a loan, to incorporate the common law “valid-when-made” doctrine.
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OCC Solicits Public Comments on Innovation Pilot Program
On April 30, 2019, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) opened a 45-day public comment period on its Innovation Pilot Program (the “Program”). In accordance with the agency’s objective of providing constructive and proactive supervision, the OCC’s proposed Program is intended to encourage the testing of innovative activities – including products, services,…