Alert September 30, 2008

OCC Updates Policy on Minority-Owned National Banks

The OCC issued an updated version of its Policy Statement on Minority-Owned National Banks (the “Statement”).  The Statement says that the OCC recognizes the importance of minority-owned banks in their communities and in the national banking system.  The Statement defines a minority-owned bank as one that is more than 50% owned or controlled by African Americans, Native Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans or women.  The Statement declares that the OCC is committed to employing measures and resources that will “encourage and preserve minority ownership of national banks.”  In particular, the Statement states that the OCC provides advice and technical assistance to minority-owned bank applicants, assists minority-owned banks as part of the supervisory process, supports investments by national banks in minority-owned banks pursuant to public welfare investment authority and will give national banks Community Reinvestment Act credit for investments in minority-owned banks.  The Statement also says that starting in 2008, the OCC’s Annual Report will include a summary of OCC activities to support minority-owned national banks.