On November 29, 2022, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (‘OCC”) announced that it released a revised Policies and Procedures Manual (“PPM”) that the agency uses to assess civil money penalties (“CMP”) in enforcement actions. According to Acting Comptroller Michael J. Hsu, the revisions were issued to strengthen the effectiveness and fairness of its enforcement actions. More specifically, the OCC revised the CMP matrix that applies to regulated institutions in order to enable penalties to reflect varying levels of misconduct or the size of the institution. The OCC also increased the scoring weight of mitigating factors and revised certain mitigating factors in order to provide banks with stronger incentives to address underlying deficiencies. The OCC will begin to use the revised PPM on January 1, 2023.
According to the OCC, the CMP matrix is intended to be used as decision-making tool to promote consistency in civil monetary penalties but emphasized that it should only be used as a guide and not as a substitute for sound supervisory judgment. The OCC is permitted to depart from matrix recommendations when appropriate.