What is the OCC?

Published by Thomas Herold in Banking, Laws & Regulations

'OCC' is explained in detail and with examples in the Laws & Regulations edition of the Herold Financial Dictionary, which you can get from Amazon in Ebook or Paperback edition.

The OCC is the acronym for Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. This independent bureau falls under the United States Department of the Treasury. The U.S. President appoints an individual to serve as Comptroller of the agency for a term of five years. The American Senate must approve this appointment. The Comptroller serves as one of the directors of the Neighbor Works and the FDIC Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

The OCC has its headquarters in Washington, D.C. They also maintain four district offices throughout the U.S. as well as London office to monitor the national banks’ international activities. The United States Congress created the agency with its 1863 National Currency Act. The group celebrated its 150 year anniversary back in 2013.

There are important responsibilities that the OCC has regarding banks. It charters, supervises, and regulates every national bank and federal savings association. Besides this, it also manages the foreign banks’ federal agencies and branches. It has a mission to make certain that all of these financial institutions run according to sound, safe practices and abide by all relevant regulations and laws. It also ensures that there is sufficient access to financial products and services and that customers are treated fairly.

This government agency operates as a foremost financial supervisor. Its vision is to improve the value of financial institutions by offering supervision that is both proactive and detects risks. It works to ensure a healthy and well rounded banking system that helps the economy as a whole and businesses, consumers, and communities. The group is frequently sought out for its expertise and knowledge.

One of the main functions of the bank examiners who work for the OCC is to go on site to national financial institutions and hold on location reviews. They continue their supervision after this as well. The examiners study the funds management, investment and loan portfolios, earnings, capital, liquidity, and market risk for all of these organizations. Any national financial institution that has under $10 billion of assets falls under their enforcement of consumer banking laws. In pursuit of this, they examine external and internal audits and internal controls along with compliance to the laws. The examiners also check on the ability of the bank managements to identify and manage their own risk.

Where these federal thrifts and national banks are concerned, the OCC has substantial powers. This starts with examining the institutions. They can then deny or approve applications the banks put in for new charters, capital, branches, and other forms of change to their banking or company structure.

There are a number of actions this supervisor can take regarding national financial institutions. They can remove offending directors and officers at these banks. They may also deliver financial penalties and cease and desist orders when banks will not change their unsound or illegal practices. The agency prefers to negotiate changes to such practices first.

The bureau has tremendous powers in implementing the banking laws. They may create regulations and rules. They also provide legal interpretations of them. Finally they issue binding decisions that govern bank lending, investments, and other activities.

Congress does not provide the OCC with a budget. The agency derives all of its revenues from several activities. They receive assessments from the national financial institutions. Banks must pay the agency to conduct examinations that they undergo. Financial institutions also pay fees for having their applications processed. Finally the bureau has revenues that come in from their investments which are mostly U.S. Treasuries.

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The term 'OCC' is included in the Laws & Regulations edition of the Herold Financial Dictionary, which you can get from Amazon in Ebook or Paperback edition.