Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)

OCC Reports Decline in Mortgage Performance

 

On December 16, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) reported that the performance of first-lien mortgages in the federal banking system declined during the third quarter of 2020, which accounts for 27% of all residential mortgage debt outstanding in the United States. The percentage of seriously delinquent mortgages was 5.8% in the third quarter of 2020, compared to 6.8% in the prior quarter and 1.5% a year ago. In the third quarter of 2020, servicers initiated 48.2% more foreclosures than in the previous quarter and completed 14,097 mortgage modifications. Release.

Agencies Announce Threshold for Smaller Loan Exemption from Appraisal Requirements for Higher-Priced Mortgage Loans

 

On November 18, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the Federal Reserve Board (FRB), and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) (collectively, the “Agencies”) announced that the threshold for exempting loans from special appraisal requirements for higher-priced mortgage loans during 2021 will remain at $27,200, as it was in 2020. Release.

OCC Submitted Final Rule Clarifying When Bank is a “True Lender”

 

On October 27, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) submitted a final rule for publication to determine when a national bank or federal savings association makes a loan to a third party and is the “true lender.” The rule clarifies that a bank is a “true lender” if, as of the date of origination, the bank (1) is named as the lender in the loan agreement or (2) funds the loan. OCC Bulletin.

Federal Banking Agencies Exempt Premium Finance Lending from BSA/AML Customer Identification Program Requirements

 

On October 9, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Federal Reserve), Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), and National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), with approval from the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), issued a revised order exempting premium finance loans (loans made to facilitate a borrower’s purchase of property and casualty insurance policies) from the customer identification program requirements applicable to a lender’s Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering (BSA/AML) compliance program. Order.

Federal Bank Regulatory Agencies Modify Liquidity Coverage Ratio for Banks Participating in Money Market Mutual Fund Liquidity Facility and Paycheck Protection Program Liquidity Facility

 

On May 5, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”), the Federal Reserve, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) announced an interim final rule to facilitate the flow of credit to households and businesses from banking organizations participating in the Federal Reserve’s Money Market Mutual Fund Liquidity Facility and the Paycheck Protection Program Liquidity Facility. The rule neutralizes the impact of the Liquidity Coverage Ratio rule associated with the funding provided by these facilities. Release. Rule.

Interim Final Rule and Interagency Statement for Real Estate-Related Financial Transactions Affected by the Coronavirus

 

On April 14, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (FRB), and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) today announced an interim final rule that allows financial institutions to defer completion of appraisals and evaluations after the closing of certain residential and commercial real estate transactions. The deferrals provide flexibility for completing appraisals and evaluations to help financial institutions meet the immediate liquidity needs of borrowers during the coronavirus emergency. The interim final rule authorizes deferrals of appraisals and evaluations for all residential and commercial real estate transactions, except for transactions involving the acquisition, development, and construction of real estate, allows a bank up to 120 days from the closing of a transaction to obtain the appraisal or evaluation required under the appraisal regulations, and authorizes deferrals until December 31, 2020, when the interim final rule terminates. Bulletin.

Federal Bank Regulatory Agencies Release Joint Statement on Risk-Based Approach to BSA/AML Supervision

 

On July 22, the Federal Reserve Board, FDIC, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) and the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) released a joint statement outlining the agencies’ risk-based approach to examining banks’ BSA/AML compliance programs. Release.

Agencies to Propose Amending CRA Regulations to Conform to HMDA Regulation Changes, and Remove References to the Neighborhood Stabilization Program

 

On September 13, 2017, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency jointly released proposed changes to each agency’s Community Reinvestment Act’s regulations relating “Regulation C, which implements the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act[.]” FDIC Release. Federal Reserve Release. OCC Release.

OCC Addresses Questions Related to Bank Collaboration with Fintech Companies and Others

 

Recently, with increasing frequency, questions have been posed regarding the responsibilities of bank regulated entities (“Bank Entities”) with respect to their “third-party relationships,” particularly with financial technology companies.

On June 7, 2017, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (the “OCC”) issued a supplement (the “Supplement”) to its Bulletin 2013-29, “Third-Party Relationships: Risk Management Guidance,” issued October 30, 2013.

As an overview, the OCC stated:

OCC Bulletin 2013-29 defines a third-party relationship as any business arrangement between the bank and another entity, by contract or otherwise. Third-party relationships include activities that involve outsourced products and services; use of outside consultants, networking arrangements, merchant payment processing services, and services provided by affiliates and subsidiaries; joint ventures; and other business arrangements in which a bank has an ongoing third-party relationship or may have responsibility for the associated records. Recently, many banks have developed relationships with financial technology (fintech) companies that involve some of these activities, including performing services or delivering products to a bank’s customer base. If a fintech company performs services or delivers products on behalf of a bank or banks, the relationship meets the definition of a third-party relationship and the OCC would expect bank management to include the fintech company in the bank’s third-party risk management process. (Emphasis added.)

The OCC expects banks to perform due diligence and ongoing monitoring for all third-party relationships. The level of due diligence and ongoing monitoring, however, may differ for, and should be specific to, each third-party relationship. The level of due diligence and ongoing monitoring should be consistent with the level of risk and complexity posed by each third-party relationship. For critical activities, the OCC expects that due diligence and ongoing monitoring will be robust, comprehensive, and appropriately documented. Additionally, for activities that bank management determines to be low risk, management should follow the bank’s board-established policies and procedures for due diligence and ongoing monitoring.

The Supplement then addresses a series of FAQs that should be considered by Banking Entities. Conversely, these FAQs also provide guidance to fintech companies seeking relationships with Bank Entities and in addressing due diligence inquires. FAQs.