Washington, D.C. — BPI today called on the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency in a comment letter to withdraw its “fair access” proposal, which would micromanage banks’ business decisions in an unprecedented way.
“The OCC’s proposed rulemaking on fair access to financial services would create a unique, far-reaching precedent in instructing national banks, under threat of enforcement action, to make or not make certain loans and provide other financial services,” BPI President and CEO Greg Baer said. “This would represent significant departure from how banks currently operate their businesses and the OCC currently supervises national banks.”
The proposal would forbid banks from using subjective judgment and qualitative considerations when they decide whether to provide a financial service – completely inconsistent from how the OCC has expected banks to manage risk. It rests on a misunderstanding of the OCC’s legal authority and unfounded assumptions about the market power of large banks in the United States. The OCC claims to be shielding customers from political bias, but it is just telling banks and their boards that they cannot be trusted to make sound business decisions.
BPI has sought more details on the proposal in a Freedom of Information Act request, but the OCC has failed to provide them. The public needs much more information on this impractical, unworkable proposal before the OCC makes economy-altering changes to the way banks do business.
About Bank Policy Institute.
The Bank Policy Institute (BPI) is a nonpartisan public policy, research and advocacy group, representing the nation’s leading banks and their customers. Our members include universal banks, regional banks and the major foreign banks doing business in the United States. Collectively, they employ almost 2 million Americans, make nearly half of the nation’s small business loans, and are an engine for financial innovation and economic growth.