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OCC found 20,000 accounts with compliance issues during review, Otting says


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OCC found 20,000 accounts with compliance issues during review, Otting says

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency found around 20,000 accounts with compliance issues during a review of retail banks' sales practices.

Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting disclosed the figure June 13 at a House Financial Services Committee hearing. More than 40 national banks were involved in the review. Otting said the OCC reviewed between 500 million to 600 million accounts, and found no "pervasive or systemic issues" in regards to improper account openings.

"We did find the need for banks to improve their policies, procedures and controls," he added, noting that the OCC issued 252 matters requiring attention. He said about 20% of the MRAs have been closed, with the remainder under supervisory review.

Some members of the committee appeared unimpressed with the OCC's findings, with Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., noting that the number of MRAs issued was "staggering." When asked if Otting found an issue at every bank reviewed, he said he did not have the details. He said the MRAs are confidential supervisory matters.

"If you found over 250 problems at just 40 banks in your review, doesn't that suggest you should expand the review to all banks supervised by the OCC, now that you've identified such widespread problems?" Maloney asked, noting that she finds it "deeply disturbing" the OCC did not take any public enforcement actions against the banks.

The review was conducted in the wake of the Wells Fargo & Co. scandal, which featured the unauthorized opening of more than 2 million accounts.