Magazine article American Banker

Comptroller Plans to Speed Applications for Soundest Banks

Magazine article American Banker

Comptroller Plans to Speed Applications for Soundest Banks

Article excerpt

Imagine being able to answer most of the questions on a bank charter application simply by checking "yes" or "no."

Or applying to open a new branch and, if your regulator fails to respond within 37 days, being allowed to go ahead and do it.

These banker fantasies and more will become reality soon as part of the Office of the Comptroller of Currency's continuing effort to make the national charter more attractive to banks.

The new "Comptroller's Corporate Manual," available in draft form this week, details the agency's planned expedited applications procedures and self-imposed deadlines, and includes many of the pared-down forms national banks will fill out in the future.

"I'm really excited about this," said Julie L. Williams, chief counsel for the Comptroller's office. "What it embodies is our effort to streamline the whole applications mechanism."

The centerpiece of the effort, introduced in the agency's "Part 5" regulation proposed last November, is special treatment for national banks that are well capitalized, have Camel ratings of 1 or 2, received at least a satisfactory rating on their most recent Community Reinvestment Act evaluation, and are not the object of an enforcement action.

These eligible national banks will have fewer forms to fill out and can expect a quicker turnaround from the Comptroller's office on applications to do such things as open or relocate branches. Eligible banks also won't have to get prior approval to invest up to 150% of their capital stock in bank premises. …

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