OCC to lower assessments next year

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency will lower assessments in 2023 as part of an effort to close the pricing differential between state and federal charter assessments, Acting Comptroller of the Currency Michael Hsu said today during remarks to the Texas Bankers Association. Effective in March, the agency will make a 40% reduction in assessments for a bank’s first $200 million in total balance sheet assets. It will also make a 20% reduction for bank assets between $200 million and $20 billion. The cuts will result in a $41.3 million reduction in assessments for community banks next year, Hsu said.

“The purpose of this adjustment is to level the playing field with the cost of supervision compared to state community bank charters,” he said. “The recalibration will not reduce the quality of OCC supervision or the resources available to community banks. I am hopeful that this reduction will provide community banks with extra breathing space and capacity to invest and seize opportunities related to digitalization, compliance, cybersecurity and personnel.”

Hsu announced other agency actions designed to help community banks, which he praised as vital members of the communities they serve. The OCC is working to streamline the licensing process for community banks, clarify the agency’s standards and coordinate with the FDIC and Federal Reserve to minimize redundancies and support a revitalization of de novo activity, he said. The agency is also updating its approach to risk-based supervision and is continuing a realignment of midsize and community bank supervision..

“During the pandemic, we learned a lot about the importance of community banks and your role in getting relief funds into the hands of small-business owners nationwide,” he said. “On June 30, 2020, community banks held 41%, or $198 billion, of the market of Paycheck Protection Program loans… Your customers are not likely to forget how you stepped up in their time of need.”