The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) Law and Legal Definition

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency or OCC is a US federal agency established by the National Currency Act of 1863. It.charters, regulates, and supervises all national banks. It also supervises the federal branches and agencies of foreign banks 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 OCC 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. They also evaluate bank management's ability to identify and control risk.

In regulating national banks, the OCC has the power to:

1. Examine the banks;

2. Approve or deny applications for new charters, branches, capital, or other changes in corporate or banking structure;

3. 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 penalties;

4. Issue rules and regulations governing bank investments, lending, and other practices.

The objectives with which the OCC functions are:

1. To ensure the safety and soundness of the national banking system.

2. To foster competition by allowing banks to offer new products and services.

3. To improve the efficiency and effectiveness of OCC supervision, including reducing regulatory burden.

4. To ensure fair and equal access to financial services for all Americans.