The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is revamping the way it supervises the largest national banks, creating teams of examiners dedicated to individual institutions.
The changes, made public Tuesday, are designed to make exams more efficient and consistent.
"There will be no learning curve for these examiners," said OCC spokeswoman Leonora S. Cross. "They'll know the bank."
Currently, the lead bank of each of the 12 largest national banking companies has an examiner on site.
The new structure would put a team of examiners at the lead bank of each of the 20 largest banking companies.
If a banking company operates 37 national banks in 12 states, it will be examined companywide by the same group of examiners based in the lead bank's headquarters city.
The Comptroller's Office estimates that 385 national banks will be examined under this revamped system: 119 belonging to the original 12 companies and 266 owned by the 20 companies being added in the reorganization.
The new teams of examiners will report to two new deputy comptrollers based in Washington. The deputies will probably form a trio of top examiners with Ralph E. Sharpe, the deputy comptroller of multinational banking, who oversees supervision of the 12 banking companies that currently host resident examiners.
In a six-page memo to employees, the agency said it also plans to formally split its exam force into two specialities "to maximize efficiencies and provide expert, quality supervision to groups of banks with similar types and scope of operation."
One group of examiners will be trained to supervise large national banks, while the other will focus on midsize and community banks, the OCC explained.
In another change announced Tuesday, the agency's capital markets division, which oversees banks' securities and derivatives trading, will be consolidated under Scott Calhoun, the deputy comptroller for risk supervision.
"The capital markets area, we think, poses a significant risk to the banking industry, and Scott has a lot of expertise," Ms. Cross explained.