On Monday, January 29, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) published a proposal to update its procedural rules and issue a new policy statement on bank merger review (the OCC Proposal). In accompanying remarks at the University of Michigan, Acting Comptroller of the Currency Michael Hsu explained that the OCC Proposal is intended to improve transparency around the agency’s approvals and denials of merger applications.
Specifically, the OCC Proposal identifies and describes 13 features that, when present in combination, would weigh in favor of approving a merger application. It also highlights six features that raise “supervisory or regulatory concerns” and would create a presumption of denial for applications containing them. Together, the proposed changes would mark noteworthy departures from prior practice.
Our Client Briefing details and analyzes the key aspects of the OCC Proposal against the backdrop of the current framework governing federal agencies’ review of banking mergers and recent developments. It also highlights implications of the OCC Proposal for the merger market, key open questions, and areas of interest for stakeholders to consider as they review and comment on the proposal.