Review leads to more than a dozen changes in regulations

More than a dozen changes to existing regulations – dealing with everything from oaths of bank directors to website transactions — are addressed in a final rule by the OCC intended to update or remove outdated regulations.

The final rule, published Jan. 23 but addressed in an OCC Bulletin Monday, takes effect April 1.

The rule is part of the agency’s annual review under the Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act of 1996 (EGRPRA), the law requiring federal agencies to review existing regulations and remove or update where necessary. OCC noted that the law requires the agency (and other federal financial institution regulators) to every 10 years identify outdated or otherwise unnecessary regulatory requirements imposed on insured depository institutions. “As part of this review, the agencies jointly have published four Federal Register notices since 2014 seeking comment on 12 categories of rules,” OCC stated.

In its bulletin, the OCC listed 13 specific changes that rule makes:

  • exempt national banks from the prior approval, notification, and certification requirements for certain accounting-related changes to permanent capital.
  • simplify certain business combinations involving mutually owned savings banks.
  • clarify national bank director oath requirements.
  • remove unnecessary requirements with respect to fidelity bond activities.
  • revise certain fiduciary activity requirements for national banks and FSAs, including increasing the asset size limit for mini-funds.
  • revise record-keeping and confirmation requirements for national banks’ and FSAs’ securities transactions to apply to FSAs the less burdensome record-keeping requirements found in the national bank rule, remove certain notice requirements, and permit national banks to use third-party service providers for record storage and maintenance.
  • revise the OCC’s rules for securities offerings and Securities Exchange Act reporting to remove unnecessary filings for national banks and FSAs and to provide additional exceptions for FSAs.
  • provide for the electronic submission of filings required under the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act.
  • update rules relating to insider and affiliate transactions to implement section 608 of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
  • remove the requirement for FSAs to notify the OCC before establishing a transactional website.
  • remove certain financial disclosure requirements for national banks.
  • repeal certain regulatory reporting, auditing, accounting, and management policy rules for FSAs.
  • integrate OCC rules for national banks and FSAs relating to fidelity bonds, Securities Exchange Act disclosures, securities offering disclosures, and insider lending.

The agency stated in its Bulletin that the final rule reflects EGRPRA comments the OCC has received from bankers, consumer and community groups, and other interested parties. It also noted that the final rule includes amendments to OCC rules derived from the agency’s most recent internal review of its rules to identify outdated or unnecessary provisions in addition to those suggested by EGRPRA commenters.

Description: Final Rule