Comments due to OCC April 15 on proposed bank merger rule changes

April 15 is the due date for public comments on the national bank regulator’s proposal for removing expedited bank merger approval procedures and increasing transparency around the agency’s review of proposed mergers, according to a notice in Tuesday’s Federal Register.

The proposed rule was issued Jan. 29 by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). The agency identified two “substantive” changes presented in its proposed rule on mergers (“business combinations”). Specifically, the proposal would:

  • Remove provisions related to expedited review. The agency said any business combination subject to a filing is a significant corporate transaction requiring OCC decisioning, which should not be deemed approved solely due to the passage of time.
  • Remove the OCC’s streamlined business combination application. The OCC said the Interagency Bank Merger Act Application (IBMA) provides the appropriate basis for the OCC to review a business combination application.

The OCC said its proposal also includes a policy statement meant to clarify its review of applications under the Bank Merger Act (BMA). The policy statement would, among other things, outline general principles the agency uses in its review of applications under the BMA and the OCC’s consideration of the financial stability, financial and managerial resources and future prospects, and convenience and needs factors, it said. Additionally, it would address the criteria informing the OCC’s decision on whether to hold a public meeting on an application subject to the BMA, according to the agency.

Federal Register notice