WBA Meets with OCC, Bankers on Post-Pandemic Industry

On Tuesday, WBA hosted a virtual meeting with bankers and OCC to discuss concerns of the industry and to gather insight of OCC’s perspective as Wisconsin’s banking industry continues moving forward through pandemic recovery. Discussion included: CTR filings for bank cash orders handled by Thillens, continued efforts of CECL implementation, monitoring CRE and the impact of vacancies as office space needs change, thinking through liquidity contingencies, LIBOR, cybersecurity and importance of good business resumption plans, importance of strong underwriting practices, awareness of loan downpayments amounts, and careful review of evaluations due to the current hot real estate market. Bankers shared concerns over exams losing the focus of being risk-based.  

Those attending the meeting included National Bank of Commerce President and CEO Steven Burgess, National Exchange Bank & Trust President and CEO James Chatterton, OCC Assistant Deputy Comptroller Mike Larabee, OCC Associate Deputy Comptroller Ben Lemanski, and OCC Central District Deputy Comptroller Brian James. WBA staff present included Rose Oswald Poels, Daryll Lund, Scott Birrenkott, and Heather MacKinnon.

When asked of their current expectations regarding struggling borrowers, OCC stated they are using the same approach as was taken during the pandemic; banks should continue to work with struggling borrowers, document position taken, and to feel free to have further conversations with the exam team and OCC district office regarding the treatment or classification of a particular borrower. OCC also shared that discussions continue at a high level on the topics of fair lending, climate changes, bank collaborations with fintechs, and OCC’s efforts to work collaboratively on CRA.  

WBA continues to engage in small group virtual meetings with each of the banking regulators over the course of the next few months. Normally, we host these meetings in person in Madison in addition to visiting the industry’s regulators in Washington each fall. If you are interested in participating in a small group virtual conversation with your bank’s regulator, please contact WBA’s VP-Legal Heather MacKinnon at hmackinnon@wisbank.com. In addition to sharing which regulator is your bank’s primary federal regulator, please also provide Heather with any specific topic or issue you’d like to make sure is raised during these conversations.   

By, Alex Paniagua