OCC finalizes assessment fee reduction due to pandemic

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WASHINGTON — The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency finalized a rulemaking to reduce its upcoming September assessment fees by using pre-pandemic call report data.

The change, first announced in June, is intended to avoid penalizing banks whose balance sheets swelled in the early months of the pandemic, when trillions of federal stimulus dollars and consumer savings flowed into the banking system.

In September, banks will be able to use call report data from December 2019 to calculate the assessment fees owed to the OCC, which the agency uses to fund its operations. The rule was designed as a one-time change and will stay in effect until October 2020.

The OCC says thatt using call report data from 2019 will result in lower assessments for most national banks. In the event such a change would actually result in higher fees for a given bank, the OCC said it would use call report data from June instead.

The OCC’s latest change follows two pre-pandemic fee reductions in 2018 and 2019, when the agency lowered its fees by 10%, citing improvements in operational efficacy.

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