FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 11, 1999
Contact: Sam Eskenazi
OCC Seeks Ways to Reduce Regulatory Burden for Community-sized National Banks
WASHINGTON — The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) announced today that it is seeking public comment on ways to reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens on community banks under its supervision.
This initiative is in furtherance of the promise made by Comptroller of the Currency John D. Hawke, Jr. to the Independent Community Bankers Association earlier this spring to "do everything in our power while I am Comptroller to ensure that OCC supervision is responsive to your needs as community bankers."
In the advance notice of proposed rulemaking scheduled for publication in the May 12 Federal Register, the OCC identifies four areas of regulations that might be addressed to give community banks new opportunities to become more competitive. "If there are other rules that raise concerns for community banks, the OCC would welcome comments on steps we might take to address those concerns," Mr. Hawke added. "Of course, any changes we might make would have to be consistent with bank safety and soundness."
The OCC also announced that it is seeking a candidate to serve as the agency's first director of community bank activities. "The community bank activities director will coordinate the OCC's efforts to provide outreach to community banks, to identify community bank issues and to recommend courses of action to deal with those issues," Mr. Hawke said. "I see the actions that we're announcing today as only the first step in our renewed commitment to be more responsive to the needs of community-sized national banks."
The four areas of regulation for which the OCC is seeking comment in advance of proposing rule changes are:
For each area, the OCC would like to know if existing rules require an inefficient allocation of the bank's resources or impose undue burdens on the bank's staff, what community bank lines of business or operations are affected by the rule it wants changed, and which rules require the bank to obtain outside experts.
Comments on proposed rule changes for community banks must be received at the OCC by July 12, 1999.
# # #