OCC warnings to banks tumble to pre-crisis levels, report shows

3 January 2019 9:35pm
US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency warnings to banks on matters such as internal controls and risk management have dropped to levels unseen since before the Great Financial Crisis, the OCC’s annual report shows.

The plunge in Matters Requiring Attention, which can precede enforcement action, stems from banks’ improved financial condition and their increased attentiveness to risk, Obama and Trump administration officials said.

“This is a time of great health in the banking industry,” said Daniel Stipano, a lawyer who was OCC deputy chief counsel under presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. “MRAs and enforcement actions tend to rise when there is an economic downturn.”

Another reason for the decline is the consolidation of national banks, OCC spokesman Bryan Hubbard said. The OCC oversees 33 percent fewer national banks, national trust companies and foreign banks’ US branches than it did in 2006.