The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency announced on Tuesday that it has published final guidelines for large financial institutions regarding the strengthening of governance and risk management practices for those institutions. Organizations covered by the guidelines are insured national banks, federal savings associations, and branches of foreign banks whose average total consolidated assets total $50 billion dollars or more. Institutions with average total consolidated assets totaling less than $50 billion dollars whose parent company controls an institution covered by the guidelines will also be affected.
Covered institutions will now be required to control and manage risk-taking activities by following a written risk governance framework under the new guidelines. The guidelines also set forth a set of minimum standards to govern the overseeing of that framework by the institutions' boards of directors. The finalized guidelines are essentially the same as those proposed by the OCC in January 2014. Changes were made to the final guidelines for the purposes of clarity and ensuring that board members were not given management responsibilities.
The watchdog that oversees the money given under the Troubled Asset Relief Program has accused the U.S. Treasury Department of botching its supervision and reporting of TARP spending, and has called for more transparency. In a scalding letter to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew dated September 2, the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Recovery Program, Christy Romero, stated that a SIGTARP audit found evidence that the Treasury Department modified "some of the data reported by the financial institutions" in a report on how TARP funds were spent.