Magazine article American Banker

OCC Losing Seasoned Examiners as It 'Rightsizes' Its Work Force

Magazine article American Banker

OCC Losing Seasoned Examiners as It 'Rightsizes' Its Work Force

Article excerpt

With fewer national banks to examine, the Comptroller of the Currency is scaling back its staff and losing some of its most experienced supervisors.

"The fallout of this rightsizing is that many career examiners are choosing not to relocate, so the agency loses a lot of good people because they do not wish to move," said Bob Bench, managing partner of regulatory advisory services at Price Waterhouse.

Fourteen senior examiners faced "involuntary actions" - that is, they either had to relocate or leave the agency. Seven have agreed to move, but the others have decided to leave, according to the agency. And a number of those who refuse to move are getting jobs at the Federal Reserve, Mr. Bench said.

"The Fed is increasing its hiring of examiners in response to the expectation of examining the growing activities of holding companies and foreign institutions," said Mr. Bench, who worked at the Comptroller's office for 22 years.

The Comptroller's office this month is wrapping up a year of so- called rightsizing, reducing its examiner force by more than 300.

That puts the number of national bank examiners at 2,486 - less than one examiner for each institution the agency regulates. With the wave of mergers and interstate acquisitions, agency officials felt it was time to pare the work force.

"As we came into '95, we concluded that we had 130 more bank examiners in the aggregate than called for," said Judith A. Walter, senior deputy comptroller for administration. …

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