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OCC to Loosen the Oversight Leash on Big Banks

Robert Ottone
May 30, 2014

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) has announced that they will be rotating their big bank staffers around, to better supervise and monitor the nation’s largest banking entities. While MarketWatch seems to believe that this is due to the OCC cutting staff, the recent press release merely highlights the notion of getting fresh eyes on a situation. “The changes announced will enhance the agency’s expert supervision of the nation’s largest and most complex financial institutions,” said Comptroller Thomas J. Curry. “Facilitating the sharing of information and knowledge among examiners across institutions and rotating examiner assignments will allow us to provide a fresh and broader perspective to the examination of each large institution.” Oddly enough, this news comes on the heels of reports that the Fed will begin monitoring small- and mid-sized banks more heavily, in the wake of the financial crisis. Now that the big banks are already under their watchful eye, broadening their scope seems to make sense. While in that case, the Fed is paying close attention to loans submitted to the FHA around the time of the crisis and whether or not current underwriting guidelines were met properly, however; it’s interesting to see. Is there a connection? “Regulation is necessary and prudent to ensure consumers, as well as, business are protected. I look forward to working with regulators that are there to help both business and consumers. However, what is concerning is the potential burden of overregulation and the disruption of commerce,” said John H.P. Hudson, VP of regulatory affairs for Premier Nationwide Lending and Communications Committee chair for NAMB—The Association of Mortgage Professionals.  “Perhaps only the now institutionalized 'too big to fail' organizations that have the bureaucracy infrastructure necessary to manage, win.” According to the release, the next several months will see the OCC engaging in implementing various strategies to make their oversight go smoothly. “We will invest the time and resources necessary to fully implement even those initiatives that will require longer-term execution. Our ongoing process for self-assessment and review will be important in ensuring the success of these new initiatives,” said Curry.
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