12 CFR § 19.221 - Reclassification of a bank based on unsafe or unsound condition or practice.

§ 19.221 Reclassification of a bank based on unsafe or unsound condition or practice.

(a) Issuance of notice of proposed reclassification—(1) Grounds for reclassification.

(i) Pursuant to § 6.4 of this chapter, the OCC may reclassify a well capitalized bank as adequately capitalized or subject an adequately capitalized bank or undercapitalized bank to the supervisory actions applicable to the next lower capital category if:

(A) The OCC determines that the bank is in an unsafe or unsound condition; or

(B) The OCC deems the bank to be engaging in an unsafe or unsound practice and not to have corrected the deficiency.

(ii) Any action pursuant to this paragraph (a)(1) shall hereinafter be referred to as “reclassification.”

(2) Prior notice to institution. Prior to taking action pursuant to § 6.4 of this chapter, the OCC shall issue and serve on the bank a written notice of the OCC's intention to reclassify the bank.

(b) Contents of notice. A notice of intention to reclassify a bank based on unsafe or unsound condition will include:

(1) A statement of the bank's capital measures and capital levels and the category to which the bank would be reclassified;

(2) The reasons for reclassification of the bank;

(3) The date by which the bank subject to the notice of reclassification may file with the OCC a written appeal of the proposed reclassification and a request for a hearing, which shall be at least 14 calendar days from the date of service of the notice unless the OCC determines that a shorter period is appropriate in light of the financial condition of the bank or other relevant circumstances.

(c) Response to notice of proposed reclassification. A bank may file a written response to a notice of proposed reclassification within the time period set by the OCC. The response should include:

(1) An explanation of why the bank is not in unsafe or unsound condition or otherwise should not be reclassified;

(2) Any other relevant information, mitigating circumstances, documentation, or other evidence in support of the position of the bank or company regarding the reclassification.

(d) Failure to file response. Failure by a bank to file, within the specified time period, a written response with the OCC to a notice of proposed reclassification shall constitute a waiver of the opportunity to respond and shall constitute consent to the reclassification.

(e) Request for hearing and presentation of oral testimony or witnesses. The response may include a request for an informal hearing before the OCC under this section. If the bank desires to present oral testimony or witnesses at the hearing, the bank shall include a request to do so with the request for an informal hearing. A request to present oral testimony or witnesses shall specify the names of the witnesses and the general nature of their expected testimony. Failure to request a hearing shall constitute a waiver of any right to a hearing, and failure to request the opportunity to present oral testimony or witnesses shall constitute a waiver of any right to present oral testimony or witnesses.

(f) Order for informal hearing. Upon receipt of a timely written request that includes a request for a hearing, the OCC shall issue an order directing an informal hearing to commence no later than 30 days after receipt of the request, unless the OCC allows further time at the request of the bank. The hearing shall be held in Washington, DC or at such other place as may be designated by the OCC, before a presiding officer(s) designated by the OCC to conduct the hearing.

(g) Hearing procedures.

(1) The bank shall have the right to introduce relevant written materials and to present oral argument at the hearing. The bank may introduce oral testimony and present witnesses only if expressly authorized by the OCC or the presiding officer(s). Neither the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 554557) governing adjudications required by statute to be determined on the record nor the Uniform Rules of Practice and Procedure in subpart A of this part apply to an informal hearing under this section unless the OCC orders that such procedures shall apply.

(2) The informal hearing shall be recorded, and a transcript furnished to the bank upon request and payment of the cost thereof. Witnesses need not be sworn, unless specifically requested by a party or the presiding officer(s). The presiding officer(s) may ask questions of any witness.

(3) The presiding officer(s) may order that the hearing be continued for a reasonable period (normally five business days) following completion of oral testimony or argument to allow additional written submissions to the hearing record.

(h) Recommendation of presiding officer(s). Within 20 calendar days following the date the hearing and the record on the proceeding are closed, the presiding officer(s) shall make a recommendation to the OCC on the reclassification.

(i) Time for decision. Not later than 60 calendar days after the date the record is closed or the date of the response in a case where no hearing was requested, the OCC will decide whether to reclassify the bank and notify the bank of the OCC's decision.