The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) will lower the supervision fee it charges banks by 10% next year, the regulator said Monday. The move could save banks $85 million over the next year.
The reduction in rates reflects increased operating efficiencies the OCC achieved over the past several years, including optimized real estate and contracting costs, the agency said.
"The OCC has made a concerted effort to operate more effectively and efficiently," Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting said in a statement. "Now that we have demonstrated the ability to operate successfully at a lower cost, we can reduce the assessments we charge, while ensuring the federal banking system operates in a safe, sound, and fair manner."
The move marks the second straight year the OCC has reduced fees by 10%, agency spokesman Bryan Hubbard told Banking Dive.
The agency's fees vary based on a bank’s size. A bank with $40 billion of on-balance-sheet assets will be charged a semiannual assessment of about $2 million next year, according to American Banker. A bank with $250 billion of assets will be charged about $8.6 million. A bank with assets of $1 billion will be charged an assessment of $100,800. And a bank with $100 million of assets will be charged $21,000.
The reduced assessments will go into effect Jan. 1 and will be reflected in assessments paid March 31 and Sept. 30, the OCC said.
"While reduced, the 2020 assessment level provides resources that enable the agency to recruit, train, and retain the talent and experience necessary to perform its important mission and continue to invest in initiatives that ultimately improve the function of this agency and the safety and soundness of the federal banking system," the agency said in a release.
Hubbard said the OCC is reviewing travel needs and conducting more exam work remotely.
"The FY 2020 budget includes funds to improve and increase the use of video teleconferencing and increase bandwidth for remote OCC users," he said.
The OCC also said it is increasing the hourly fee for special examinations and investigations from $110 to $140.