Comptroller of the Currency Joseph M. Otting recently testified during a hearing held by the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.
The Comptroller's testimony discussed the agency's efforts to support the safe, sound, and fair operation of the federal banking system and promote its ability to meet the needs of its customers during the national public health emergency created by COVID-19.
The Comptroller's testimony also provided details about the range of activities currently underway, including our efforts to strengthen the Community Reinvestment Act regulations, make Bank Secrecy Act compliance more effective and efficient, and encourage banks to provide more responsible small-dollar lending.
In his statement, Otting discussed the actions the OCC has taken in response to COVID-19 to provide banks greater flexibility to meet the needs of the households and businesses that depend on them.
"The extent of COVID-19’s impact on individuals and families, banks, and our economy depends on the depth and duration of this downturn and how quickly demand returns to the economy," said Otting. "Our monitoring efforts will continue so that we have current data to use as we respond to industry challenges as the situation evolves."
lake Paulson, the new Chief National Bank examiner with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and senior deputy comptroller for midsize and community bank supervision, recently spoke with Law360 on the OCC’s plan beyond the coronavirus, detailing the steps the agency and banks can take to prepare for the next financial downturn.
According to Paulson, one of the most significant priorities of the OCC has been strengthening the Community Reinvestment Act regulation.
“We've done a tremendous amount of work to first put out an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking to request, which was a series of questions on the CRA and then a proposed rule. Now we've gotten all those comments back, and we're working on drafting the final rule. We expect that, working in conjunction with the FDIC [Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation], we will release a final rule this year."