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News Release 2011-95
July 20, 2011
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WASHINGTON — The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency today issued a final rule implementing several provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act, including changes to facilitate the transfer of functions from the Office of Thrift Supervision and revisions to the OCC's rules on preemption and visitorial powers. The OCC issued a notice of proposed rulemaking for this final rule on May 26, 2011.
Under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the OCC assumes responsibility for the ongoing examination, supervision, and regulation of federal savings associations on July 21.
This final rule contains changes to the OCC's regulations necessary to implement certain revisions to the banking laws that took effect on the enactment of the Dodd-Frank Act. These changes include amendments to OCC rules pertaining to preemption and visitorial powers.
The preemption and visitorial powers amendments:
In response to public comments received, the text of the preemption and visitorial powers amendments was revised to:
The preamble to the final rule expands the discussion of the preemption and visitorial powers provisions to address more thoroughly certain points raised in public comment letters received by the OCC. In particular, the preamble notes that the OCC has reconsidered its position concerning precedent that relied on the "obstructs, impairs, or conditions" standard. To the extent that an existing preemption precedent relies exclusively on the phrase "obstructs, impairs, or conditions" as the basis for a preemption determination, the preamble states that the validity of the precedent would need to be reexamined to ascertain whether the determination is consistent with the Barnett conflict preemption analysis.
The final rule also revises OCC rules in areas that are central to internal agency functions and operations immediately upon the transfer of supervisory jurisdiction for federal savings associations. These include amendments to the OCC's assessment fee rule to include federal savings associations. Following a transition period, the final rule provides a single assessment schedule for both national banks and federal savings associations. To facilitate the transition of federal thrift supervision from the OTS to the OCC, the OCC will compute assessment fees under both the OCC and OTS schedules for assessments charged in September 2011 and March 2012. Federal savings associations will pay the lesser of the two fees. Beginning with assessments charged in September 2012, the OCC will assess institution fees based on a single fee schedule regardless of charter.
The rule also includes revisions to rules related to OCC organization, the availability and release of information under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), and post-employment restrictions for senior examiners.
As part of the integration of the OTS functions into the OCC, the OCC also plans to issue an Interim Final Rule, with a request for comments, that republishes those OTS regulations the OCC has the authority to promulgate and enforce as of the transfer date, renumbered and issued as new OCC rules, with nomenclature and other technical amendments to reflect OCC supervision of federal savings associations. The OCC will consider more comprehensive substantive amendments to these regulations, as appropriate, later this year.
The final rule will be published in the Federal Register tomorrow.
Robert M. Garsson (202) 874-5770