Office of the Comptroller of Currency – Definition

Cite this article as:"Office of the Comptroller of Currency – Definition," in The Business Professor, updated August 1, 2019, last accessed October 19, 2020,


Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) Definition

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) is a federal organization that observes and analyzes how well the national banks are implementing the set laws. Particularly, it acts as a charter, regulator, and supervisor of national banks and federal branches of the U.S. based foreign banks. The President appoints, and the Senate gives approval to the Comptroller of the Currency who acts as a head for the OCC.

A Little More on What is the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

The OCC, formulated by the National Currency Act, 1863, controls and supervises banks so as to ensure their operations are in accordance with the standard requirements. This federal agency is responsible for monitoring many fields including IT, management earnings, asset quality, capital, and a lot more.

The OCC works independently in the Department of Treasury. Its mission is to make sure that national banks and federal organizations work in a secured environment, offer complete access to financial services, emphasize on treating customers equally, and abide by the given rules and regulations.

Congress is not responsible for any funds related to the OCC. It receives funding from federal savings organizations and national banks in the form of examination and processing fees related to their corporate application forms. Investment income, earned on the U.S. Treasury securities, is another source of revenue for the OCC.

The Comptroller, approved by the Senate, heads the OCC for a tenure of 5 years. Besides, he acts as director of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) ad Neighbor Works America.

Structure of the OCC

In addition to the London-based office, OCC has four different offices which monitor worldwide operations of national banks. The bank inspectors make on-site reviews for national banks and federal savings institutions. They offer administration by observing the borrowings made by the institutions, investment portfolios, capital, liquidity, capital, and reactivity to risks prevailing in the market. Office inspectors also tend to analyze if national banks are in accordance with rules and regulations, and measure the management’s credibility to ascertain and manage risks.

Power of the OCC

The OCC has the ultimate authority to accept or discard any applications for new charters, capital, branches, and other editions in the working of banks. They have the right to take legal actions against financial institutions whose policies are not in accordance with rules. It can further remove directors and officers, if the need be. It has the power to make negotiations in agreements considering changes in a bank’s policies, penalize in monetary terms, and issue cease and desist orders.

The House of Representatives gave approval to the Financial Choice Act in June 2017. This Act is waiting for its approval from Senate. It will bring changes in many reforms established under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, 2010.

After the Dodd-Frank Act, the Office of the Comptroller made assumptions for the duties for the examination, supervision, and administration of the federal savings associations. In the same month, the OCC introduced the ultimate rule executing many provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act, which included changes to encourage the transfer of duties from the Office of Thrift Supervision.

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