OCC gives banks another break on their assessment fees

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WASHINGTON — The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is once again reducing its assessment fee collected from banks by 10% for the 2020 calendar year, as the regulator says it has increased operating efficiencies.

“We have looked to gain efficiency, while delivering the same high-quality supervision to national banks, federal savings associations, and federal branches of foreign banks,” Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting said in a press release. “Now that we have demonstrated the ability to operate successfully at a lower cost, we can reduce the assessments we charge, while ensuring the federal banking system operates in a safe, sound, and fair manner.”

The change in the rate will likely result in an $85 million reduction in exam fees collected from banks by the regulator next year, a spokesperson for the OCC said.

The OCC uses a scale of assessments it charges banks based on an institution’s size. For example, next year a bank with $40 billion of on-balance-sheet assets will be charged a semiannual assessment of just below $2 million. A bank with $250 billion of assets will be charged an assessment of about $8.6 million. At the lower end, a bank with assets of $1 billion will be charged an assessment of $100,800. A bank with $100 million of assets will be charged $21,000.

The OCC also said it is increasing the hourly fee for special examinations and investigations from $110 to $140.

The OCC similarly reduced its assessment fee for banks by 10% for the 2019 calendar year. The additional cut in the fee next year will go into effect Jan. 1 and will be reflected in assessments paid March 31 and Sept. 30.

The OCC said in a press release that the reduced 2020 assessment level will still enable it to continue to provide “resources that enable the agency to recruit, train, and retain the talent and experience necessary to perform its important mission.”

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