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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

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.

Continue Reading OCC Proposes Rule Codifying Standards for Investment in Bank Premises

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

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.

Continue Reading OCC Issues True Lender Rule

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.

Continue Reading Federal and State Regulators Issue Interagency Guidance Regarding Assessing Safety and Soundness During COVID-19

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.

Continue Reading OCC Issues Final Rule Clarifying Permissible Interest on Loans Sold to Third Parties by National Banks and Federal Savings Associations

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,