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From Banking and Finance Law Daily, March 11, 2016

OCC seeks comment on removing rules pursuant to EGRPRA review

By J. Preston Carter, J.D., LL.M.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is requesting comments on its proposal to remove regulations pursuant to the Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act of 1996. The EGRPRA requires that, at least once every 10 years, the federal banking regulatory agencies conduct a review of their regulations to identify outdated or otherwise unnecessary regulatory requirements imposed on insured depository institutions.

The agencies completed the first EGRPRA review in 2006. The current EGRPRA review process runs through Dec. 31, 2016. The OCC previously published three EGRPRA Federal Register notices and conducted six EGRPRA outreach meetings as part of the current review process. The OCC stated that it has already incorporated a number of changes commenters proposed in response to the first EGRPRA notice.

Regulatory proposals. In this notice, the OCC is proposing to:

  • revise certain licensing rules related to chartering applications, business combinations involving federal mutual savings associations, and notices for changes in permanent capital;
  • clarify national bank director oath requirements;
  • 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;
  • revise the electronic activities provisions for federal savings associations;
  • integrate and update OCC rules for national banks and federal savings associations relating to municipal securities dealers, Securities Exchange Act disclosure rules, and securities offering disclosure rules, including providing for the electronic submission of required filings and applying the less burdensome national bank rule to federal savings associations;
  • update and revise recordkeeping and confirmation requirements for national banks’ and federal savings associations’ securities transactions;
  • integrate and update rules relating to insider and affiliate transactions; and
  • make other technical and clarifying changes.

Legislative proposals. The OCC’s notice states that it also supports specific legislative proposals that would eliminate regulatory burden.

First, as senior OCC staff has testified before Congress, the OCC believes it is appropriate to increase the number of healthy, well-managed community institutions that qualify for the 18-month examination cycle by raising the statutory threshold. Recently, Congress acted to do so by raising the statutory threshold from under $500 million in total assets to under $1 billion in total assets for 1-rated institutions, and by providing the federal banking agencies with the discretion to raise the threshold for 2-rated institutions. The OCC, together with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and Federal Reserve Board, recently issued an interim final rule that exercises this discretion.

Second, the OCC believes that federal savings associations should have greater flexibility to expand their business model without changing their governance structure. This expanded business model would provide federal savings associations with the flexibility to adapt to changing economic and business environments to meet the needs of their communities without the costs associated with changing charters.

Finally, the OCC supports creating an exclusion from the Volcker Rule for community institutions.

Comments must be received on or before May 13, 2016.

MainStory: TopStory BankingOperations CommunityDevelopment DepositInsurance DirectorsOfficersEmployers FederalReserveSystem FinancialStability SecuritiesDerivatives VolckerRule

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