OCC proposes eliminating 'outdated' licensing rules

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WASHINGTON — The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency announced a flurry of new regulatory relief proposals late Thursday after a review of potentially outdated or unnecessary requirements.

The proposed changes focus on licensing requirements for national banks seeking to engage in certain corporate transactions or other activities.

The changes include allowing national banks to follow certain procedures now more relevant for state-chartered banks, expanding an expedited review process related to a bank's operating subsidiaries, and permitting banks to invest in certain entities that have not agreed to OCC oversight, among other things.

The agency said it was proposing the changes after a periodical "review of its regulations to eliminate outdated or otherwise unnecessary provisions and to clarify or revise requirements imposed on national banks and Federal savings associations where possible and when not inconsistent with safety and soundness." The OCC also conducts a review of its rules every 10 years under the Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act.

The OCC's proposed changes focus on licensing requirements for national banks seeking to engage in certain corporate transactions or other activities.
The OCC's proposed changes focus on licensing requirements for national banks seeking to engage in certain corporate transactions or other activities.

"It is part of the OCC’s continual effort to modernize its rules and remove unnecessary requirements," the agency said in a press release.

Another proposed change would specify procedures examiners should use when considering a merger application in connection with the Community Reinvestment Act.

“The OCC practice in this regard is to consider and evaluate a filer’s record of performance under the CRA and, more broadly, the filer’s plans and ability to enable the combined organization to serve the convenience and needs of its communities,” the OCC said.

The regulator also proposed a change that would allow banks to make noncontrolling and pass-through investments in entities that “have not agreed to OCC supervision, and permitting certain other investments without a filing,” according to the press release.

“The OCC believes that this will give national banks greater flexibility to make permissible noncontrolling investments, while giving the OCC an opportunity for an in-depth review of the proposed investment to ensure there is no inappropriate risk to the national bank’s safety and soundness,” the agency wrote in the proposal.

The agency is also proposing changing the definition of “troubled condition” of a bank when it comes to changing management.

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Regulatory relief Regulatory reform OCC M&A Licenses and charters
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