The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency on Monday urged national banks to help borrowers in communities hurt by recent hurricanes.

In a bulletin posted on the agency's Internet site, bankers are asked to help borrowers obtain disaster relief and advances on insurance claims and to ease loan origination and underwriting standards for new loans to borrowers affected by the storms.

Examiners will not criticize bankers who adjust loan terms for such borrowers, the agency said.

In addition, the OCC said it is expediting approval of temporary branches for national banks with destroyed or badly damaged offices.

National banks located in the Caribbean or along the East Coast north of Virginia may contact the OCC's New York office at (212) 819-9860. Those along the coast of Virginia and points south should call the agency's district office in Atlanta at (404) 659-8855.

The OCC's Internet site is

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