June 12, 2013

How to Appeal an OCC Decision: The (New) Basics

Photo credit: MBisanz
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the primary regulator of federally-chartered banks, has issued a bulletin summarizing the revised process for appealing an OCC decision or action.  

A national bank may appeal the following OCC supervisory decisions or actions:
  • Examination ratings.
  • Adequacy of the allowance for loan and lease loss methodology.
  • Individual loan ratings.
  • Violations of law.
  • Shared National Credit (SNC) decisions.
  • Fair-lending-related decisions.
  • Licensing decisions.
  • Material supervisory determinations such as matters requiring attention, compliance with enforcement actions, or other conclusions in the report of examination (ROE).  (However, an appeal of ROE conclusions is limited to whether the examiners correctly applied established policies and standards.
The list is not exhaustive.  In contrast, the guidance asserts that a national bank may not appeal the following matters:
  • Appointment of a receiver (FDIC).
  • Preliminary examination conclusions communicated to the bank before a final ROE.
  • Any formal enforcement-related decisions, including decisions to seek the issuance of a formal agreement or a cease-and-desist order; the assessment of a civil money penalty; take prompt corrective action; a safety and soundness order; or formal investigations.
  • Formal and informal rulemakings.
  • Requests for OCC records under the Freedom of Information Act.
Informal appeals are directed to the bank's supervisory office.  Formal appeals are directed to the Ombudsman or the Deputy Controller.  The bulletin describes the appeals process in general terms.  Of course, the guidance does not limit the matters that a federal court can consider; it applies only to the agency's appeals process.

For more information, you can read the entire bulletin here.