On January 6, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), regulator of the nation’s national banks and federal savings associations, issued a Bulletin 2012-2 (Bulletin), rescinding much of the guidance that the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) had issued in previous years with respect to its supervisory function over federal savings institutions. The purpose of the rescission was "to produce one common set of supervisory policies that will apply to both federal savings associations and national banks, while recognizing differences anchored in statute." The Bulletin rescinded 389 CEO Letters, and dozens of Regulatory and Thrift Bulletins as well as Trust Handbook guidance issued previously by the OTS. In many but by no means all cases, thrift institutions were informed that guidance issued by the OCC would now control.

The OCC offered four explanations for each rescinded document:

  • Outdated – The document is no longer needed. Any attachments to the document are rescinded only as they relate to national banks and federal savings associations.
  • Duplicative – The document transmitted interagency guidance that was issued jointly with the OCC. The rescission applies to the transmitting document only and not the attached interagency guidance. Thrifts are directed to use the OCC-issued document.
  • Conveyance – The document is a cover letter that merely conveyed another document. The rescission does not change the applicability of the conveyed document. To determine the applicability of the conveyed document, please refer to the original issuer of the document.
  • Replaced – The document and any attachments are superseded by OCC guidance.

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