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NR 2008-19
Contact: Bryan Hubbard
(202) 874-5770

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency Lowers Assessment Fees for National Banks

WASHINGTON — The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency today announced that it was recalibrating its assessment structure with the result that all national banks will pay modestly lower assessment fees, effective March 31, 2008.

"The new assessment fees will modestly reduce costs for all national banks while ensuring that the OCC has sufficient revenue to meet its supervisory responsibilities," said Comptroller of the Currency John C. Dugan.  "Our objectives were to update our assessment framework to recognize changes in industry structure and to recalibrate fees to better align revenue with expenses.  I’m pleased that we were able to accomplish these objectives in a way that will modestly reduce the burden on national banks at a time in which they are dealing with difficult economic conditions, while at the same time preserving the resources the agency needs to carry out its mission."

Changes include a reduction in rates for each of the current assessment brackets, plus the addition of two new brackets for the largest banks in recognition of substantial structural change in the banking system since the OCC last revised the structure in 1992.  Taken together, these changes will reduce overall assessment income by about 2.5 percent.

Assessment brackets have always been established on a sliding scale by asset size, and the banking sector has simply outgrown the old structure.  The new framework replaces the existing top bracket, which applies to the portion of assets held by a national bank that exceeds $40 billion, with two new brackets:  one for assets between $40 billion and $250 billion, and one for assets exceeding $250 billion.  An interim rule creating the new brackets was published in the Federal Register on February 19, 2008.

The interim rule has an immediate effective date to allow all national banks to benefit from the lower fees in the March 31, 2008 semiannual assessment.

The OCC invites public comment and will review those comments before issuing its final rule.  The interim rule is available for review and comment at www.regulations.gov.  The change in the OCC’s Notice of Fees, which implements the rate reduction, is available from the OCC Web site at http://www.occ.gov.

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