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OCC Bulletin 2017-61 | December 15, 2017

Major Disasters: Interagency Examiner Guidance for Institutions Affected by Major Disasters


Chief Executive Officers of All National Banks, Federal Savings Associations, and Federal Branches and Agencies of Foreign Banks; Department and Division Heads; All Examining Personnel; and Other Interested Parties


The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the other federal financial institutions regulatory agencies,1 in consultation with the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (collectively, the agencies), are issuing guidance to their respective examiners regarding supervisory practices to be followed when assessing the financial condition of financial institutions directly affected by a disaster that results in a Presidential declaration of a major disaster. The guidance also applies to institutions that may be located outside the area declared a major disaster, but have loans to or investments in individuals or entities located in the area declared a major disaster.

Note for Community Banks

This guidance applies to national banks, federal savings associations, and federal branches and agencies of foreign banking organizations.


The OCC encourages any national bank, federal savings association, or federal branch or agency of a foreign banking organization the operations or condition of which is adversely affected by a disaster that results in a Presidential declaration of a major disaster to contact and discuss its condition and any issues with its examiners.2 In determining what supervisory action may be required, examiners will consider management’s capabilities and efforts in resolving the issues. Formal or informal administrative action that ordinarily would be considered for similarly rated institutions may not be necessary, if prudent planning and policies are in place and if management is pursuing realistic resolution of the problems. The guidance also instructs examiners to continue to follow the definitions embodied in the Uniform Financial Institutions Rating System and the Rating System for U.S. Branches and Agencies of Foreign Banking Organizations when evaluating and assigning an institution’s CAMELS or ROCA ratings.3

The examiner guidance complements OCC Bulletin 2012-28, “Responding to a Declaration of a Legal Holiday or a Natural Disaster: Supervisory Guidance on Natural Disasters and other Emergency Conditions.”

Further Information

For more information or assistance, contact your supervisory office.

Grace E. Dailey
Senior Deputy Comptroller and Chief National Bank Examiner


Related Link


1 The federal financial institutions regulatory agencies consist of the OCC, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and National Credit Union Administration.

2 Under section 401(a) of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (12 USC 5170(a)), the President may declare that a major disaster exists in a state. A “major disaster” is defined as any natural catastrophe or, regardless of cause, any fire, flood, or explosion in any part of the United States, which in the determination of the President, causes damage of sufficient severity and magnitude to warrant major federal disaster assistance to supplement the efforts and available resources of states, local governments, and disaster relief organizations. 12 USC 5122(2).

3 The Uniform Financial Institutions Rating System integrates ratings from six component areas: capital adequacy, asset quality, management, earnings, liquidity, and sensitivity to market risk. The Rating System for U.S. Branches and Agencies of Foreign Banking Organizations integrates ratings from risk management, operational controls, compliance, and asset quality.