Michael Brickman Named Deputy Comptroller for Special Supervision

On January 26, 2015 Michael Brickman was named Deputy Comptroller for Special Supervision at the OCC.  As Deputy Comptroller of Special Supervision, Mr. Brickman will oversee the supervision of the OCC’s most critical problem midsize and community banks as well as the development and implementation of rehabilitation or resolution strategies for assigned banks and savings associations, including the orderly management of closings, when necessary.  Release.

Agencies Propose Technical Corrections and Clarifications to the Capital Rules Applicable to Advanced Approaches Banking Organizations

On November 18, the Federal Reserve Board, the FDIC and the OCC proposed clarifications to the revised regulatory capital rules adopted by the agencies in July 2013. The proposal applies to large internationally active banking organizations that currently determine their regulatory capital ratios under the advanced approaches rule.  Release.

OCC Revises Process for Matters Requiring Attention

On October 30, the OCC published revised policies and procedures for how it manages Matters Requiring Attention (MRA) resulting from its examination of supervised institutions.  MRAs communicate supervisors’ concerns identified during examinations. The updated guidance standardizes MRA terminology, format, follow-up, analysis, and reporting across the agency.  Release.  OCC MRA Bulletin.

Joint Federal Regulators Approve Final Risk Retention Rules

On October 21 and 22, the Fed, HUD, FDIC, FHFA, OCC, and SEC jointly approved final risk retention rules.  The final rules, which implement Section 941 of Dodd Frank, generally follow the re-proposed rules issued in August 2013, mandating that sponsors retain at least 5% of the credit risk in asset-backed securities transactions.  Generally, risk may be retained by holding either a horizontal or avertical slice of issued securities, while additional options are available for specific types of securitizations.  The rules will apply toresidential mortgage-backed securities one year after publication in the Federal Register, and will apply to all other asset classes two years after publication.  Final Rules.  Joint Release.

OCC Finalizes its Heightened Standards for Large Financial Institutions

On September 2, the OCC published final guidelines to strengthen the governance and risk management practices of large financial institutions.  The guidelines apply to insured national banks, insured federal savings associations, and insured federal branches of foreign banks with US$50 billion or more in average total consolidated assets.  The guidelines also apply to an OCC-regulated institution with less than US$50 billion in average total consolidated assets if that institution’s parent company controls at least one other covered institution.  The guidelines provide that covered institutions should establish and adhere to a written risk governance framework to manage and control risk-taking activities.  The guidelines also provide minimum standards for the institutions’ boards of directors to oversee the risk governance framework.  Release.

Federal Agencies Seek Comment on Swap Margin Requirements

On September 3, the Fed, the Farm Credit Administration, the FDIC, the FHFA, and the OCC sought comment on a proposed rule to establish margin requirements for swap dealers, major swap participants, security-based swap dealers and major security-based swap participants as required by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act).  The proposed rule would establish minimum requirements for the exchange of initial and variation margin between covered swap entities and their counterparties to non-cleared swaps and non-cleared security-based swaps.  The margin requirements mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act are intended to address a number of weaknesses in the regulation and structure of the swap markets that were revealed during the recent financial crisis.  The requirements are intended to reduce risk, increase transparency, and promote market integrity.  Proposed Rule.

OCC Releases Revised Comptroller’s Handbook

On August 20, the OCC released an updated booklet providing guidance to examiners and bankers on assessing and managing the risks associated with merchant processing activities. The booklet replaces the earlier version issued in December 2001. The booklet addresses a variety of topics including, among others, data security standards in the payment card industry for merchants and processors.  Press ReleaseUpdated Booklet.

OCC Publishes Final Rule that Revises the Risk-Based Capital Definition of Eligible Guarantee for Advanced Approaches Banks

The OCC, the Fed, and the FDIC have published a final rule that revises the advanced approaches risk-based capital rules by removing the requirement that only guarantees provided by certain counterparties are eligible for recognition as credit risk mitigants. Specifically, the final rule modifies the definition of “eligible guarantee” for purposes of the advanced approaches risk-based capital rules by removing the requirement that an eligible guarantee be provided by an “eligible guarantor” for all exposures other than securitization exposures. The rule was published in the Federal Register on July 30, 2014Press ReleaseFinal Rule.