12 U.S. Code § 25b - State law preemption standards for national banks and subsidiaries clarified
For purposes of this section, the following definitions shall apply:
(1) National bank
The term “national bank” includes—
(2) State consumer financial laws
The term “State consumer financial law” means a State law that does not directly or indirectly discriminate against national banks and that directly and specifically regulates the manner, content, or terms and conditions of any financial transaction (as may be authorized for national banks to engage in), or any account related thereto, with respect to a consumer.
(3) Other definitions
The terms “affiliate”, “subsidiary”, “includes”, and “including” have the same meanings as in section 1813 of this title.
(b) Preemption standard
(1) In general
State consumer financial laws are preempted, only if—
(A) application of a State consumer financial law would have a discriminatory effect on national banks, in comparison with the effect of the law on a bank chartered by that State;
(B) in accordance with the legal standard for preemption in the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in Barnett Bank of Marion County, N. A. v. Nelson, Florida Insurance Commissioner, et al., 517 U.S. 25 (1996), the State consumer financial law prevents or significantly interferes with the exercise by the national bank of its powers; and any preemption determination under this subparagraph may be made by a court, or by regulation or order of the Comptroller of the Currency on a case-by-case basis, in accordance with applicable law; or
(2) Savings clause
Title 62 of the Revised Statutes and section 371 of this title do not preempt, annul, or affect the applicability of any State law to any subsidiary or affiliate of a national bank (other than a subsidiary or affiliate that is chartered as a national bank).
(3) Case-by-case basis
As used in this section the term “case-by-case basis” refers to a determination pursuant to this section made by the Comptroller concerning the impact of a particular State consumer financial law on any national bank that is subject to that law, or the law of any other State with substantively equivalent terms.
When making a determination on a case-by-case basis that a State consumer financial law of another State has substantively equivalent terms as one that the Comptroller is preempting, the Comptroller shall first consult with the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection and shall take the views of the Bureau into account when making the determination.
(4) Rule of construction
Title 62 of the Revised Statutes does not occupy the field in any area of State law.
(5) Standards of review
A court reviewing any determinations made by the Comptroller regarding preemption of a State law by title 62 of the Revised Statutes or section 371 of this title shall assess the validity of such determinations, depending upon the thoroughness evident in the consideration of the agency, the validity of the reasoning of the agency, the consistency with other valid determinations made by the agency, and other factors which the court finds persuasive and relevant to its decision.
(c) Substantial evidence
No regulation or order of the Comptroller of the Currency prescribed under subsection (b)(1)(B), shall be interpreted or applied so as to invalidate, or otherwise declare inapplicable to a national bank, the provision of the State consumer financial law, unless substantial evidence, made on the record of the proceeding, supports the specific finding regarding the preemption of such provision in accordance with the legal standard of the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in Barnett Bank of Marion County, N.A. v. Nelson, Florida Insurance Commissioner, et al., 517 U.S. 25 (1996).
(d) Periodic review of preemption determinations
(1) In general
The Comptroller of the Currency shall periodically conduct a review, through notice and public comment, of each determination that a provision of Federal law preempts a State consumer financial law. The agency shall conduct such review within the 5-year period after prescribing or otherwise issuing such determination, and at least once during each 5-year period thereafter. After conducting the review of, and inspecting the comments made on, the determination, the agency shall publish a notice in the Federal Register announcing the decision to continue or rescind the determination or a proposal to amend the determination. Any such notice of a proposal to amend a determination and the subsequent resolution of such proposal shall comply with the procedures set forth in subsections (a) and (b) ofsection 43 of this title.
(2) Reports to Congress
At the time of issuing a review conducted under paragraph (1), the Comptroller of the Currency shall submit a report regarding such review to the Committee on Financial Services of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate. The report submitted to the respective committees shall address whether the agency intends to continue, rescind, or propose to amend any determination that a provision of Federal law preempts a State consumer financial law, and the reasons therefor.
(e) Application of State consumer financial law to subsidiaries and affiliates
Notwithstanding any provision of title 62 of the Revised Statutes or section 371 of this title, a State consumer financial law shall apply to a subsidiary or affiliate of a national bank (other than a subsidiary or affiliate that is chartered as a national bank) to the same extent that the State consumer financial law applies to any person, corporation, or other entity subject to such State law.
(f) Preservation of powers related to charging interest
No provision of title 62 of the Revised Statutes shall be construed as altering or otherwise affecting the authority conferred by section 85 of this title for the charging of interest by a national bank at the rate allowed by the laws of the State, territory, or district where the bank is located, including with respect to the meaning of “interest” under such provision.
(g) Transparency of OCC preemption determinations
The Comptroller of the Currency shall publish and update no less frequently than quarterly, a list of preemption determinations by the Comptroller of the Currency then in effect that identifies the activities and practices covered by each determination and the requirements and constraints determined to be preempted.
(h) Clarification of law applicable to nondepository institution subsidiaries and affiliates of national banks
For purposes of this subsection, the terms “depository institution”, “subsidiary”, and “affiliate” have the same meanings as in section 1813 of this title.
(2) Rule of construction
No provision of title 62 of the Revised Statutes or section 371 of this title shall be construed as preempting, annulling, or affecting the applicability of State law to any subsidiary, affiliate, or agent of a national bank (other than a subsidiary, affiliate, or agent that is chartered as a national bank).
(i) Visitorial powers
(1) 1 In general
In accordance with the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in Cuomo v. Clearing House Assn., L. L. C. (129 S. Ct. 2710 (2009)), no provision of title 62 of the Revised Statutes which relates to visitorial powers or otherwise limits or restricts the visitorial authority to which any national bank is subject shall be construed as limiting or restricting the authority of any attorney general (or other chief law enforcement officer) of any State to bring an action against a national bank in a court of appropriate jurisdiction to enforce an applicable law and to seek relief as authorized by such law.
(j) Enforcement actions
 So in original. No par. (2) has been enacted.
Source(R.S. § 5136C, as added and amended Pub. L. 111–203, title X, §§ 1044(a), 1045, 1047(a),July 21, 2010, 124 Stat. 2014, 2017, 2018.)
References in Text
The International Banking Act of 1978, referred to in subsec. (a)(1)(B), is Pub. L. 95–369, Sept. 17, 1978, 92 Stat. 607, which enacted chapter 32 (§ 3101 et seq.) and sections 347d and 611a of this title, amended sections 72, 378, 614, 615, 618, 619, 1813, 1815, 1817, 1818, 1820, 1821, 1822, 1823, 1828, 1829b, 1831b, and 1841 of this title, and enacted provisions set out as notes under sections 247, 611a, and 3101 of this title and formerly set out as notes under sections 36, 247, and 601 of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 3101 of this title and Tables.
Title 62 of the Revised Statutes, referred to in subsecs. (b)(1)(C), (2), (4), (5)(A), (e), (f), (h)(2), (i)(1), and (j), was in the original a reference to “this title” or “This title” meaning title LXII of the Revised Statutes, consisting of R.S. §§ 5133 to 5244, which are classified to this section and sections 16, 21, 22 to 24a, 25a, 26, 27, 29, 35 to 37, 39, 43, 52, 53, 55 to 57, 59 to 62, 66, 71, 72 to 76, 81, 83 to 86, 90, 91, 93, 93a, 94, 141 to 144, 161, 164, 181, 182, 192 to 194, 196, 215c, 481 to 485, 501, 541, 548, and 582 of this title. See, also, sections 8, 333, 334, 475, 656, 709, 1004, and 1005 of Title 18, Crimes and Criminal Procedure. For complete classification of R.S. §§ 5133 to 5244 to the Code, see Tables.
For classification of title LXII of the Revised Statutes of the United States, referred to in subsec. (b)(5)(B), see note above.
2010—Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 111–203, § 1045, added subsec. (h).
Subsecs. (i), (j). Pub. L. 111–203, § 1047(a), added subsecs. (i) and (j).