WASHINGTON — The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has tightened up the process it uses to document and track banks that are flagged by examiners for having problems.

The agency issued revised guidelines Thursday dictating how banks should respond and correct “matters requiring attention” under specific timeframes. The OCC said the changes are meant to clearly outline concerns to banks and track remediation efforts in the hope that issues can be addressed before it affects a bank’s condition.

“Successful supervision relies upon clear communication of supervisory expectations,” said Comptroller Thomas Curry in a press release. “Clarifying how we use MRAs [matters requiring attention] helps ensure that our concerns are addressed, that deficient practices are corrected early, and that we can track concerns more effectively.”

The revised guidance sets agency-wide standards for the terminology used by examiners — such as what is considered a “concern” — as well as the tracking, analysis and reporting of issues. It also specifically addresses responsibilities of the board of directors and management in following through by correcting concerns raised by examiners in a timely manner.

The OCC said it made these revisions in response to recommendations made last year by international regulators after performing a peer review. The updated guidance applies to banks and thrifts of all sizes under the purview of the OCC.

 

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