February 2, 2022

OCC: New Bulletin Addresses Processes for Considering Input from State Banking Commissioners Regarding Performance Under State Community Reinvestment Laws

This bulletin addresses the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s (OCC) processes for considering input from state banking commissioners regarding national banks’ performance under state community reinvestment laws, including implementation of community reinvestment-related provisions of the Riegle–Neal Interstate Banking and Branching Efficiency Act (Riegle–Neal Act). (Note that the Riegle–Neal Act does not apply to federal savings associations.)

This bulletin also addresses expectations regarding the handling of consumer complaints that state officials refer to national banks and federal savings associations (collectively, banks) and state referrals of complaints to the OCC.1


This bulletin rescinds

Note for Community Banks

This bulletin applies to all community banks subject to evaluation under the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). The sections of this bulletin that address state referrals of complaints apply to all OCC-supervised community banks regardless of whether they are subject to the CRA.


This bulletin

Riegle–Neal Act Background

The Riegle–Neal Act provides that branches of interstate national banks located in states other than the national banks’ home states are required to comply with the community reinvestment laws of the host states.2 The Riegle–Neal Act also provides that these laws do not apply when federal law preempts their application to a national bank.3 The OCC considers the CRA record of performance of the subject bank in a merger transaction, its resulting national bank affiliates, and the subject bank’s record of compliance with applicable state community reinvestment laws when required by applicable law.4

Policy and Procedures

OCC Consideration of State Input on National Banks’ CRA Performance

Several states and the District of Columbia have adopted community reinvestment laws with purposes similar to the CRA. When evaluating national bank CRA performance, the OCC considers input from state banking commissioners regarding national banks’ records of performance under applicable state community reinvestment laws. State banking commissioners have access to the quarterly schedule of upcoming CRA evaluations for national banks.5 These schedules are available on the OCC’s public website.6State banking commissioners who wish to provide input regarding a national bank’s record of performance under applicable state community reinvestment laws should refer that information to the OCC’s Compliance Risk Policy Division at CRAComments@occ.treas.gov.

The Compliance Risk Policy Division gathers the input from state banking commissioners and distributes the input to the appropriate OCC supervisory office. Examiners consider this input and other performance-related information, including information gathered from community contacts, when evaluating national banks’ CRA performance.

State Referrals of Complaints to Banks, Regardless of Topic

The OCC expects that banks (including federal savings associations) will seek to resolve consumer complaints from all sources fairly and expeditiously.

When banks receive consumer complaints from state or local officials, banks in most cases should address the complaints directly with consumers. Banks should expeditiously resolve consumer complaints by contacting the consumers, as appropriate. The OCC reminds banks that the OCC’s exclusive visitorial authority is not a basis for declining to address consumer complaints referred by state or local officials.

There is no requirement for banks to notify the OCC about routine consumer complaints referred by state or local officials. Banks could, however, notify the OCC in the following instances:

For contact information, refer to the “Addresses for Complaint Referrals” section of this bulletin.

Sometimes, state officials who refer routine consumer complaints directly to banks also ask the banks to explain how the banks resolved the complaints. The OCC encourages banks to explain to state officials how complaints were resolved but without compromising consumers’ privacy interests or other confidential information.

State Referrals of Certain Complaints to the OCC

The OCC encourages state officials to bring to the agency’s attention complaints alleging that banks are engaging in acts or practices that are illegal, predatory, unfair, or deceptive or are violating federal fair lending laws. Referring complaints to the OCC enables the agency to take appropriate action.

The next section of this bulletin explains how to send consumer complaint referrals to the OCC.

Addresses for Consumer Complaint Referrals

The OCC has procedures to handle referrals of consumer complaints from state officials.

Send referrals of individual consumer complaints to the OCC’s Customer Assistance Group by approved electronic method, postal mail, or fax to

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
Customer Assistance Group
P.O. Box 53570
Houston, TX 77052
(800) 613-6743
(713) 336-4301 (fax)

Send referrals of broader issues to the OCC’s Chief Counsel’s Office at

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
Chief Counsel’s Office
400 7th St. SW
Washington, DC 20219
(202) 649-5490

Consumer Complaints and Compliance Management Programs

Regardless of the source of consumer complaints, banks are expected to have a complaint resolution process that tracks complaints and their sources, provides information to bank management, and is appropriate to the bank’s size and the nature of the bank’s business. The complaint resolution process is subject to OCC review as part of the agency’s supervision of a bank’s compliance management program.9

Further Information

Please contact K. Michelle Parham, Director for Consumer Complaint Operations, at (713) 336-4350, or Vonda Eanes, Director for Community Reinvestment Act and Fair Lending Policy, at (202) 649-5470.

This post was originally published here.