To understand the gravity of what he is saying, you need to know what the comptroller does:
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) charters, regulates, and supervises all national banks. It also supervises the federal branches
and agencies of foreign banks. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the OCC has four district offices plus an office in London to supervise the
international activities of national banks.
The OCC was established in 1863 as a bureau of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The OCC is headed by the Comptroller , who is appointed by the
President, with the advice and consent of the Senate, for a five-year term. The Comptroller also serves as a director of the Federal Deposit Insurance
Corporation (FDIC) and a director of the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation.
The OCC's nationwide staff of examiners conducts on-site reviews of national banks and provides sustained supervision of bank operations. The agency
issues rules, legal interpretations, and corporate decisions concerning banking, bank investments, bank community development activities, and other
aspects of bank operations.
National bank examiners supervise domestic and international activities of national banks and perform corporate analyses. Examiners analyze a bank's
loan and investment portfolios, funds management, capital, earnings, liquidity, sensitivity to market risk, and compliance with consumer banking laws,
including the Community Reinvestment Act. They review the bank's internal controls, internal and external audit, and compliance with law. They also
evaluate bank management's ability to identify and control risk.
In regulating national banks, the OCC has the power to:
* Examine the banks.
* Approve or deny applications for new charters, branches, capital, or other changes in corporate or banking structure.
* Take supervisory actions against banks that do not comply with laws and regulations or that otherwise engage in unsound banking practices. The
agency can remove officers and directors, negotiate agreements to change banking practices, and issue cease and desist orders as well as civil money
* Issue rules and regulations governing bank investments, lending, and other practices.
The OCC's Objectives
The OCC's activities are predicated on four objectives that support the OCC's mission to ensure a stable and competitive national banking system. The
four objectives are:
* To ensure the safety and soundness of the national banking system.
* To foster competition by allowing banks to offer new products and services.
* To improve the efficiency and effectiveness of OCC supervision, including reducing regulatory burden.
* To ensure fair and equal access to financial services for all Americans.
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