OCC Bulletin 2021-6| February 3, 2021

Real Estate for Bank Premises: Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

To

Chief Executive Officers of All National Banks, Federal Savings Associations, and Federal Branches and Agencies; Department and Division Heads; All Examining Personnel; and Other Interested Parties

Summary

On January 4, 2021, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) approved a proposed rule that would modify the requirements applicable to premises of national banks and federal savings associations (collectively, banks). The proposed rule would consolidate and modify the requirements for real estate used as premises. The deadline for comments on the proposed rule is March 20, 2021.

Note for Community Banks

This proposed rule would apply to community banks.

Highlights

The proposed rule would create general standards that the OCC will use in determining whether the acquisition and holding of real estate is necessary for the transaction of a bank's business.

  • The proposed rule would create a new percentage test: Banks may acquire, hold, or convey real estate for use as "bank occupied premises." "Bank occupied premises" are real estate in which more than 50 percent of each building or severable piece of land is used by bank persons for the transaction of the bank's business.
  • The proposed rule would limit the uses of real estate not used by bank persons for the transaction of the bank's business. Proposed 12 CFR 7.1024(c) applies the excess capacity doctrine, which recognizes banks' need to optimize the value of bank property, by authorizing banks to sell or lease excess space or capacity in that property. The proposal provides that such excess space or capacity must have a nexus with the transaction of the bank's business or operations such that the real estate is acquired or held to provide the bank with a business location rather than as an investment.

Further Information

Please contact Matthew Tynan, Counsel, Sarah Turney, Counsel, or Henry Barkhausen, Counsel, Chief Counsel's Office, at (202) 649-5490.

 

Jonathan V. Gould
Senior Deputy Comptroller and Chief Counsel

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