The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency on Monday issued a new examiner handbook on credit card lending.

The 148-page booklet, mailed to examiners as well as national bank chief executives, explains how national banks should analyze credit card profit margins. For example, the OCC recommends that lenders create monthly budgets for their credit card operations and compare these estimates with actual results. Any significant differences should be investigated, the OCC said.

For nearly a year, the agency has been rewriting its examiner handbooks to focus more on the risks various bank activities pose. This handbook details the risks credit card lending presents, including analyzing credit card loan loss reserves; approving and reviewing accounts; and soliciting pre-approved customers.

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