OCC Outlines Its Plans for Integrating National Banks and Federal Thrifts

The OCC recently outlined the process it will follow to integrate OTS policy guidance for federal savings associations (federal thrifts) with its own policy guidance for national banks.

Under Dodd-Frank, all functions of OTS related to federal thrifts (including regulation, rule-making authority, and examinations) were transferred to the OCC, effective July 21, 2011. Existing OTS regulation remains in effect until modified, revised, rescinded, or superseded by the OCC, a court, or operation of law. The OCC is currently in the process of integrating prior OTS regulation, with a goal of integrating national banks and federal thrifts under a consistent supervisory approach, while recognizing differences anchored in their respective statutes.

In OCC Bulletin 2011-47, the OCC describes its intended process for evaluating and integrating prior OTS guidance. With the exception of topics requiring immediate action, the OCC will follow a two-phase process. In phase I, the OCC will rescind a number of OTS regulatory documents that are (i) duplicative of OCC guidance, (ii) outdated or are not useful because of the elimination of the OTS, or (iii) transmissions or summaries of rules, interagency guidance, and sections of the Examination Handbook. In phase II, OCC will focus on regulatory guidance that is unique to federal thrifts and deserves substantive review. This phase will involve a process of coordinating guidance with related statutory and regulatory requirements, of which some have not yet been finalized.

The OCC’s website will provide access to current versions of all guidance for national banks and federal thrifts. Guidance that is superseded or rescinded will be indicated as such on the website.