What is the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)?

What is the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)?

OCC stands for The Office of the Comptroller and is an independent bureau of the US Department of the Treasury. As per their official site, their mission is to “ensure the safety and security of the national banks and federal savings associations, that provide fair access to financial services, treat customers fairly, and ensure compliance with the applicable laws and regulations.”

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) charters, regulates, and supervises all the national banks and the federal savings associations, as well as the federal branches and agencies of foreign banks. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) aims to:

  • Visit and examine the banks that they oversee
  • Evaluate applications for new bank charters or branches; for other proposed changes in the corporate structure of banks or their activities; and from foreign banks that wish to operate in the US under an OCC charter
  • Issue rules and regulations and provide legal interpretations and guidances on banks’ corporate decisions that govern their practices
  • When necessary, impose corrective measures on banks that do not comply with regulations, or those that engage in unsafe/unsound practices
  • Protect consumers by ensuring banks give fair access and equal treatment to their customers and comply with the banking laws for consumers

What are the OCC Bank Regulations?

What is the OCC? What are the OCC Bank Regulations? The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) regulates and supervises a total of 51 federal branches of foreign banks and more than 2,100 national banks in the US, although it also regulates and supervises banks which only have a national charter. In contrast to this, the banks which are chartered by independent states, their regulation and supervision comes under the state banking authorities or the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Along with this, the banks holding companies and foreign-based affiliates are regulated and supervised under the Federal Reserve Board.

The OCC bank regulators or examiners ensure the safety and security of banks and analyze the activities of each national bank. While they are conducting their safety and security reviews, they measure the bank’s risk exposure, which can include various risks, such as market risk, legal risk, credit risk, and liquidity risk. In addition to this, they also review the bank’s lending procedures and investment portfolios, to ensure that the risks related to such activities are identified, measured, and managed accurately. Also, the OCC bank regulators take into consideration the bank funding operations, along with the level and quality of bank capital, their standards, the quality of the bank’s earnings, and its compliance to all the consumer banking laws.

In addition to keeping a safety and security bank examination, the OCC is in charge of other regulatory duties. These regulatory duties may include the review of applications for new bank charters, as well as branches. They are also authorized to take any enforcement actions against banks that attempt non-compliance to the bank’s laws and regulations. The OCC is capable of removing bank officials and directors and can propagate the rules and regulations under the authority of the National Bank Act (NBA), ruling over investments, lending, and other practices of the national banks. The OCC is also in charge of providing written guidance to the industries, such as any circulars, bulletins, and interpretive releases related to banking.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) acts as the primary regulator for banks, under the National Bank Act (NBA) and federal savings associations, as per the Home Owners Loan Act (1933).

  1. Final Issuances – The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) publishes the final rules and guidance, as well as other issues related to the Federal Register, where the general public is authorized to comment before the final rules are made.
  2. Proposed Issuances – The OCC regularly requests a public comment over the proposed rules and guidance, including other related matters. The agencies publish these notices for public comment through the Federal Register and announce any significant matters related to news releases on the OCC’s official website.

How to Have OCC Compliance?

The OCC Compliance Systems is prepared for use by the OCC examiners to examine and supervise all the national banks, the federal savings associations, and the federal branches, along with the federal agencies of foreign banking organizations.

Collectively, the overall OCC Compliance Management System (CMS) of the banks should include the policies, procedures, and processes, monitoring and testing programs, and a compliance audit function regarding the compliance with all the applicable laws and regulations. CMS here refers to the bank’s compliance with consumer protection-related laws and regulations. An effective and efficient OCC Compliance System includes the procedures and practices that are designed to manage the consumer compliance risk and support the compliance with consumer protection-related regulations, as well as to prevent any harm to the consumer. The main elements of an OCC Compliance System are the ones that the OCC examiners need to consider before evaluating a bank’s CMS, which includes board and management oversight, along with their compliance program.

The compliance risk means risk to any bank’s financial condition if they have violated laws or regulations, or is due to non-compliance with the recommended practices, procedures, or ethical measures. It is expected by the OCC that the board and management of the bank need to be responsible for compliance with all the laws and regulations that are applicable. If there is any failure to establish a sound compliance program, it will make the bank vulnerable to an increased legal and reputational risk and any subsequent enforcement actions, including civil money penalties, as well as customer reimbursements. Having a compliance risk can result in the bank’s diminished reputation, bring harm to the bank’s customers, limit its business opportunities, and lessen any potential for expansion.

OCC AML

OCC AML: Individuals or groups involved in criminal acts or activities have used various money laundering schemes to fraudulently conceal their source of money, including where it was obtained or stolen from. The act of money laundering in itself poses significant risks to the security of the US financial industry, and around the globe. With the continuous rise in terrorists using different money-laundering techniques to fund their terrorist activities or operations, the risk becomes larger than ever before, threatening the security of the whole country. With the use of sound operations, banks play an important role in helping to investigate and regulate agencies in order to identify money-laundering entities, and to take the appropriate actions.

OCC AML: Following the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and other related anti-money laundering laws, banks need to:

  • Develop an effective and efficient BSA compliance program
  • Develop an effective CDD systems and monitoring program
  • Establish a risk-based AML program
  • Screen against the OFAC, as well as other government lists
  • Develop an effective monitoring and reporting process for SARs

Read More: About the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) organization.
Read More: What is the role of a Money Laundering Reporting Officer (MLRO)?
Read More: Which countries are stated in the FATF Grey List Countries?

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“Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance” – Samuel Johnson All of us are in challenging times. However, we cannot afford to be lethargic to life, work, and busi...

Roundtable Rewind: Embracing Next-gen Tech & Collaboration Key to Sustainability

As a regtech player with a vision to enable sustainable compliance programs in financial institutions, Tookitaki organized a first-of-its-kind industry roundtable in Charlotte, NC, USA to discuss oppo...

Tookitaki Appoints Industry Veteran Joe Friscia as Advisor

Tookitaki Holding Pte. Ltd. appointed industry veteran Joe Friscia, former President of NICE Actimize and BAE Systems as Advisor to the Company’s Advisory Board. Joe brings over 25 years’ extensi...

Should Modern Machines Be Ethical?

There are mounting concerns across the globe about the reliability and safety of artificial intelligence (AI) based systems and its enabling technologies such as machine learning (ML). On the air are ...

Tookitaki Raises Another US$11.7 million in Series A; Closes Round at US$19.2 million

– by Abhishek Chatterjee, Founder & CEO The Tookitaki team and I are excited to announce that we have raised an additional US$11.7 million in Series A funding, taking the total investment in...

30 Years of FATF: Notable Facts About Global AML Watchdog

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the intergovernmental body formed in 1989 to combating money laundering, is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. Since its inception, the global agency p...

Tookitaki Joins Aite Financial Crime Forum as Sponsor

Technological advances have fundamentally changed the operational landscape of financial institutions. However, there are also new risks emerging in forms of sophisticated financial frauds and complex...

Will Machine Learning Replace Compliance Professionals?

The impact of modern technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning on job security has been a widely discussed topic today. Of course, AI has advanced very quickly in the last...

6 Most Prevalent Cyber-Laundering Methods in APAC

Despite being a medium to exchange information in real-time and with scale, the Internet is being misused in several ways. Among the slew of financial crimes facilitated by the Internet, money launder...

What Made Us Earn the WEF Technology Pioneer Title

Tookitaki has bagged another global acknowledgement for its outstanding works in the regulatory compliance field. Our company was selected among hundreds of candidates as one of the World Economic Fo...

We Stay as a Team, We Win as a Team and We Flourish as a Team

“Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to a...

ABA Regulatory Compliance Conference: 10 Sessions You Can’t Miss

The 2019 edition of the American Bankers Association (ABA) Regulatory Compliance Conference is a few more days away. Organized by the Washington, D.C.-based trade association, the conference is touted...

Tookitaki AMLS Wins SBR Technology Excellence Award 2019

Tookitaki’s Anti-Money Laundering Suite (AMLS), an end-to-end machine learning-powered transaction monitoring and names screening solution, has bagged the inaugural Singapore Business Review Tec...

Watchdogs Grow Optimistic about AI Prospects at Banks

Proper regulation of banking operations is important as any failure in the banking system would affect the wider economy. Therefore, banking is one of the most regulated industries across the globe. F...

Pitfall of Black Box AI at Banks: Explaining Your Models to Regulators

The use cases of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning in front-office, middle-office and back-office activities at banks are growing slowly but steadily. The major areas of AI play includ...

AI for Regulatory Compliance at Banks: 4 Assessments Before You Okay the Solution Proposal

Banking is one of the industries where artificial intelligence and machine learning find their applications at a rapid pace. Regulatory compliance within banking is an area which has become a costly a...

We Believe in Innovation, the Key to Survival and Growth

“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” -Steve Jobs What comes on the top of your screen when you google the meaning of the word innovation is – the introduction of somet...

Compliance Functions in Need of a Technological Overhaul. Can Machine Learning be the Game-Changer?

McKinsey in its latest compliance benchmarking survey found that compliance function at financial institutions has reached “an inflection point” and current compliance standards are in an “incho...

Tookitaki Raises US$7.5 mn Series A from Global VCs to Transform Regulatory Compliance

Tookitaki, a regulatory technology company that aims to enable financial institutions to develop sustainable compliance programs, has raised US$7.5 million in Series A round. The round was co-led by L...

From Wachovia to Danske Bank: Biggest Money Laundering Cases in Recent Times

Money laundering – the criminal activity of processing criminal proceeds to disguise their origin – is one of the gravest problems faced by the global economy, and its size is growing rapidly. It ...

A Modern Approach to Address the Reconciliation Challenges of Financial Services

Reconciliation of transactions is deemed critical for the smooth running of every financial institution. The speed and accuracy of data reconciliation can distinguish a successful institution from its...

Busting a Myth: Compliance Officer’s Job is All About Risk

Regulatory compliance has become a dreadful task for banks after regulators across the globe set stricter norms in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis in an effort to prevent financial crimes s...

SocGen Goes Next-Gen with Tookitaki Reconciliation Suite

Société Générale leveraged Tookitaki’s Reconciliation Suite to automate the bank’s existing break reconciliation system. Key Challenges Addressed The bank’s finance department was unable to ...

Attending ACAMS Conference in Singapore? Tookitaki Awaits You with Its Disruptive AML Solution

“In today’s era of volatility, there is no other way but to re-invent. The only sustainable advantage you can have over others is agility, that’s it.”- Jeff Bezos Singapore is hosting ACAMS’...

MAS’ Stress on Transaction Monitoring for Effective AML/CFT Compliance and Machine Learning is the Answer

Singapore is known for its top-notch AML/CFT regime created through up-to-date legislation, stringent policy and uncompromising supervision to safeguard against the abuse of the city state’s financi...

Mifid II and the Pressing Need for a New Reconciliation Approach

The financial services industry in the EU has been confused with the introduction of a revamped version of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (Mifid II). The ambitious regulatory reforms t...

Is Automated Reconciliation Next to Impossible in Today’s Complex Financial World?

The 2008 global financial crisis and fairly new regulatory requirements like Basel III asked financial institutions (FIs) to cut operating costs and adopt a lean operations structure, pushing FIs to r...

Modern Tech to Reshape US AML Compliance with Regulators’ Recent Handshake

George Bernard Shaw once said: “Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” The past week has seen a significant change of mind from financial regulators in the US in their ardent...

Skills Development: We Have Talents and We Strive to Multiply Them

“Mastery lies on an infinite continuum, and as a result, we will never reach the end. We can, however, see to it that we are as far along that continuum as our circumstance allows.” ― Chris Mat...

It’s Our Fourth Founding Day; Taking a Pause to Cherish Our Simple but Awesome Journey

Today, as we step into our 4th year of foundation, I feel proud and honored to be leading Tookitaki that has been successful in creating added value to all its stakeholders. I was never a CEO and Took...

Tookitaki Expands into the US with New Office in Charlotte

SINGAPORE, Sept. 24, 2018: Tookitaki Holding Pte Ltd, a leading regulatory technology company, is pleased to announce the official opening of its North American office in Charlotte, NC, in the Unite...

We Tame Machines but We Unleash Human Spirits

We are well aware of the fact that our progress as an organization is in the hands of our employees. The more energy, time and attention we invest in them, the more yield we receive. So, we always mak...

5 Methods That Modern Money Launderers Use To Beat Detection

Society prepares the crime, the criminal commits it. DID YOU KNOW? Every year, an estimated amount in the range of US$800 billion-US$2 trillion (2-5% of global GDP) is being laundered globally Regulat...

Risk Management Conference: Positive Vibes from All Corners

The Risk Management Association’s (RMA) premier annual event, the Risk Management Conference, came to an end on 6 November, and Tookitaki had the privilege to attend the event which we believe was ...

Singapore Fintech Festival: Tookitaki to showcase advanced machine learning solutions in financial services

Singapore is assured of the Fintech world’s unwavering attention next week, as the city state, is hosting this year’s Fintech Festival during 12-16 November. Touted as the world’s largest platfo...

The RMA Clarion Call to Address Risks and the Tookitaki Way

Risk officers, doing your best today is good while preparing hard for tomorrow is extraordinary. Risk management at banks has become difficult due to operational and regulatory changes. The Risk Manag...