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OCC Allows Banks and Associations Affected by Wildfires to Close

shutterstock_260704013-1-768x512On Thursday, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC [1]) issued a proclamation allowing national banks and federal savings associations affected by the California wildfires to close.

Toney M. Bland, Senior Deputy Comptroller, Midsize and Community Bank Supervision issued the proclamation, which states:

“Because of emergency conditions caused by wildfires in California, I find that emergency conditions exist pursuant to 12 USC §§ 95(b)(1), 1463(a)(1)(A), 3102(b), and 12 CFR §§ 7.3000(b) and 28.13(a)(1). Accordingly, the Comptroller of the Currency, or his or her designee, hereby authorizes national banking associations, federal savings associations, and federal branches and agencies of foreign banks at their discretion, to close offices in the areas affected by these emergency conditions for as long as deemed necessary for bank operation or public safety. In addition, bank management is encouraged to consult OCC Bulletin 2012-28, “Supervisory Guidance on Natural Disasters and Other Emergency Conditions” (September 21, 2012). This guidance lists some actions bankers could consider implementing when their bank operates or has customers in areas that are affected by a natural disaster or other emergency condition. Dated this 7th Day of December 2017.”

In issuing the proclamation, the OCC expects that only those bank offices directly affected by the extreme emergency conditions to close. Those offices should make every effort to reopen as quickly as possible to address the banking needs of their customers.

OCC Bulletin 2012-28 “Supervisory Guidance on Natural Disasters and Other Emergency Conditions” provides guidance on actions bankers could consider implementing when their bank or savings association operates or has customers in areas affected by a natural disaster or other emergencies.