ABA, Groups Urge OCC to Reconsider Expanded Trust Charter Eligibility

The American Bankers Association joined the Independent Community Bankers of America and the Credit Union National Association yesterday in asking Acting Comptroller of the Currency Blake Paulson to withdraw an interpretive letter and the conditional approval for two recent trust charters, in accordance with a Jan. 20 White House memo calling for a regulatory freeze.

The interpretive letter expanded the scope of entities eligible to apply for a national trust charter, effectively eliminating a longstanding requirement that applicants for a national bank trust charter engage in fiduciary activities. Shortly after, the OCC conditionally approved a charter for Anchorage Digital Bank and Protego Trust Bank—neither of which would have been eligible for such a charter without the interpretive letter.

The groups raised concerns that these significant changes to the charter eligibility requirements did not go through the conventional rulemaking process, including a public notice and comment period. “The OCC made significant policy changes regarding the eligibility requirements to receive a trust charter through an Interpretative Letter without public input during the final days of the previous administration,” the groups said. “That change has already, and will continue to facilitate, charter approvals that we believe are ill-considered.”