About GPO   |   Newsroom/Media   |   Congressional Relations   |   Inspector General   |   Careers   |   Contact   |   askGPO   |   Help  
 
Home   |   Customers   |   Vendors   |   Libraries  

The Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (e-CFR) is a regularly updated, unofficial editorial compilation of CFR material and Federal Register amendments produced by the National Archives and Records Administration's Office of the Federal Register (OFR) and the Government Printing Office.

Parallel Table of Authorities and Rules for the Code of Federal Regulations and the United States Code
Text | PDF

Find, review, and submit comments on Federal rules that are open for comment and published in the Federal Register using Regulations.gov.

Purchase individual CFR titles from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore.

Find issues of the CFR (including issues prior to 1996) at a local Federal depository library.

[2]
 
 

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR Data is current as of April 22, 2014

Title 12: Banks and Banking


PART 19—RULES OF PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE


Contents

Subpart A—Uniform Rules of Practice and Procedure

§19.1   Scope.
§19.2   Rules of construction.
§19.3   Definitions.
§19.4   Authority of the Comptroller.
§19.5   Authority of the administrative law judge.
§19.6   Appearance and practice in adjudicatory proceedings.
§19.7   Good faith certification.
§19.8   Conflicts of interest.
§19.9   Ex parte communications.
§19.10   Filing of papers.
§19.11   Service of papers.
§19.12   Construction of time limits.
§19.13   Change of time limits.
§19.14   Witness fees and expenses.
§19.15   Opportunity for informal settlement.
§19.16   OCC's right to conduct examination.
§19.17   Collateral attacks on adjudicatory proceeding.
§19.18   Commencement of proceeding and contents of notice.
§19.19   Answer.
§19.20   Amended pleadings.
§19.21   Failure to appear.
§19.22   Consolidation and severance of actions.
§19.23   Motions.
§19.24   Scope of document discovery.
§19.25   Request for document discovery from parties.
§19.26   Document subpoenas to nonparties.
§19.27   Deposition of witness unavailable for hearing.
§19.28   Interlocutory review.
§19.29   Summary disposition.
§19.30   Partial summary disposition.
§19.31   Scheduling and prehearing conferences.
§19.32   Prehearing submissions.
§19.33   Public hearings.
§19.34   Hearing subpoenas.
§19.35   Conduct of hearings.
§19.36   Evidence.
§19.37   Post-hearing filings.
§19.38   Recommended decision and filing of record.
§19.39   Exceptions to recommended decision.
§19.40   Review by the Comptroller.
§19.41   Stays pending judicial review.

Subpart B—Procedural Rules for OCC Adjudications

§19.100   Filing documents.
§19.101   Delegation to OFIA.

Subpart C—Removals, Suspensions, and Prohibitions When a Crime Is Charged or a Conviction is Obtained

§19.110   Scope.
§19.111   Suspension, removal, or prohibition.
§19.112   Informal hearing.
§19.113   Recommended and final decisions.

Subpart D—Exemption Hearings Under Section 12(h) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934

§19.120   Scope.
§19.121   Application for exemption.
§19.122   Newspaper notice.
§19.123   Informal hearing.
§19.124   Decision of the Comptroller.

Subpart E—Disciplinary Proceedings Involving the Federal Securities Laws

§19.130   Scope.
§19.131   Notice of charges and answer.
§19.132   Disciplinary orders.
§19.135   Applications for stay or review of disciplinary actions imposed by registered clearing agencies.

Subpart F—Civil Money Penalty Authority Under the Securities Laws

§19.140   Scope.

Subpart G—Cease-and-Desist Authority Under the Securities Laws

§19.150   Scope.

Subpart H—Change in Bank Control

§19.160   Scope.
§19.161   Notice of disapproval and hearing initiation.

Subpart I—Discovery Depositions and Subpoenas

§19.170   Discovery depositions.
§19.171   Deposition subpoenas.

Subpart J—Formal Investigations

§19.180   Scope.
§19.181   Confidentiality of formal investigations.
§19.182   Order to conduct a formal investigation.
§19.183   Rights of witnesses.
§19.184   Service of subpoena and payment of witness expenses.

Subpart K—Parties and Representational Practice Before the OCC; Standards of Conduct

§19.190   Scope.
§19.191   Definitions.
§19.192   Sanctions relating to conduct in an adjudicatory proceeding.
§19.193   Censure, suspension or debarment.
§19.194   Eligibility of attorneys and accountants to practice.
§19.195   Incompetence.
§19.196   Disreputable conduct.
§19.197   Initiation of disciplinary proceeding.
§19.198   Conferences.
§19.199   Proceedings under this subpart.
§19.200   Effect of suspension, debarment or censure.
§19.201   Petition for reinstatement.

Subpart L—Equal Access to Justice Act

§19.210   Scope.

Subpart M—Procedures for Reclassifying a Bank Based on Criteria Other Than Capital

§19.220   Scope.
§19.221   Reclassification of a bank based on unsafe or unsound condition or practice.
§19.222   Request for rescission of reclassification.

Subpart N—Order To Dismiss a Director or Senior Executive Officer

§19.230   Scope.
§19.231   Order to dismiss a director or senior executive officer.

Subpart O—Civil Money Penalty Adjustments

§19.240   Civil money penalties.

Subpart P—Removal, Suspension, and Debarment of Accountants From Performing Audit Services

§19.241   Scope.
§19.242   Definitions.
§19.243   Removal, suspension, or debarment.
§19.244   Automatic removal, suspension, and debarment.
§19.245   Notice of removal, suspension or debarment.
§19.246   Petition for reinstatement.

Authority: 5 U.S.C. 504, 554-557; 12 U.S.C. 93(b), 93a, 164, 505, 1817, 1818, 1820, 1831m, 1831o, 1972, 3102, 3108(a), 3909, and 4717; 15 U.S.C. 78(h) and (i), 78o-4(c), 78o-5, 78q-1, 78s, 78u, 78u-2, 78u-3, and 78w; 28 U.S.C. 2461 note; 31 U.S.C. 330 and 5321; and 42 U.S.C. 4012a.

Source: 56 FR 38028, Aug. 9, 1991, unless otherwise noted.

Subpart A—Uniform Rules of Practice and Procedure

§19.1   Scope.

This subpart prescribes Uniform Rules of practice and procedure applicable to adjudicatory proceedings required to be conducted on the record after opportunity for a hearing under the following statutory provisions:

(a) Cease-and-desist proceedings under section 8(b) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (“FDIA”) (12 U.S.C. 1818(b));

(b) Removal and prohibition proceedings under section 8(e) of the FDIA (12 U.S.C. 1818(e));

(c) Change-in-control proceedings under section 7(j)(4) of the FDIA (12 U.S.C. 1817(j)(4)) to determine whether the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) should issue an order to approve or disapprove a person's proposed acquisition of an institution;

(d) Proceedings under section 15C(c)(2) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”) (15 U.S.C. 78o-5), to impose sanctions upon any government securities broker or dealer or upon any person associated or seeking to become associated with a government securities broker or dealer for which the OCC is the appropriate agency;

(e) Assessment of civil money penalties by the OCC against institutions, institution-affiliated parties, and certain other persons for which it is the appropriate agency for any violation of:

(1) Any provision of law referenced in 12 U.S.C. 93, or any regulation issued thereunder, and certain unsafe or unsound practices and breaches of fiduciary duty, pursuant to 12 U.S.C. 93;

(2) Sections 22 and 23 of the Federal Reserve Act (“FRA”), or any regulation issued thereunder, and certain unsafe or unsound practices and breaches of fiduciary duty, pursuant to 12 U.S.C. 504 and 505;

(3) Section 106(b) of the Bank Holding CompanyAmendments of 1970, pursuant to 12 U.S.C. 1972(2)(F);

(4) Any provision of the Change in Bank Control Act of 1978 or any regulation or order issued thereunder, and certain unsafe or unsound practices and breaches of fiduciary duty, pursuant to 12 U.S.C. 1817(j)(16);

(5) Any provision of the International Lending Supervision Act of 1983 (“ILSA”), or any rule, regulation or order issued thereunder, pursuant to 12 U.S.C. 3909;

(6) Any provision of the International Banking Act of 1978 (“IBA”), or any rule, regulation or order issued thereunder, pursuant to 12 U.S.C. 3108;

(7) Section 5211 of the Revised Statutes (12 U.S.C. 161), pursuant to 12 U.S.C. 164;

(8) Certain provisions of the Exchange Act, pursuant to section 21B of the Exchange Act (15 U.S.C. 78u-2);

(9) Section 1120 of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 (“FIRREA”) (12 U.S.C. 3349), or any order or regulation issued thereunder;

(10) The terms of any final or temporary order issued under section 8 of the FDIA or any written agreement executed by the OCC, the terms of any condition imposed in writing by the OCC in connection with the grant of an application or request, certain unsafe or unsound practices, breaches of fiduciary duty, or any law or regulation not otherwise provided herein, pursuant to 12 U.S.C. 1818(i)(2);

(11) Any provision of law referenced in section 102(f) of the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973 (42 U.S.C. 4012a(f)) or any order or regulation issued thereunder; and

(12) Any provision of law referenced in 31 U.S.C. 5321 or any order or regulation issued thereunder;

(f) Remedial action under section 102(g) of the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973 (42 U.S.C. 4012a(g));

(g) Removal, prohibition, and civil monetary penalty proceedings under section 10(k) of the FDI Act (12 U.S.C. 1820(k)) for violations of the post-employment restrictions imposed by that section; and

(h) This subpart also applies to all other adjudications required by statute to be determined on the record after opportunity for an agency hearing, unless otherwise specifically provided for in the Local Rules.

[56 FR 38028, Aug. 9, 1991, as amended at 61 FR 20334, May 6, 1996; 70 FR 69638, Nov. 17, 2005]

§19.2   Rules of construction.

For purposes of this part:

(a) Any term in the singular includes the plural, and the plural includes the singular, if such use would be appropriate;

(b) Any use of a masculine, feminine, or neuter gender encompasses all three, if such use would be appropriate;

(c) The term counsel includes a non-attorney representative; and

(d) Unless the context requires otherwise, a party's counsel of record, if any, may, on behalf of that party, take any action required to be taken by the party.

§19.3   Definitions.

For purposes of this part, unless explicitly stated to the contrary:

(a) Administrative law judge means one who presides at an administrative hearing under authority set forth at 5 U.S.C. 556.

(b) Adjudicatory proceeding means a proceeding conducted pursuant to these rules and leading to the formulation of a final order other than a regulation.

(c) Comptroller means the Comptroller of the Currency or a person delegated to perform the functions of the Comptroller of the Currency under this part.

(d) Decisional employee means any member of the Comptroller's or administrative law judge's staff who has not engaged in an investigative or prosecutorial role in a proceeding and who may assist the Comptroller or the administrative law judge, respectively, in preparing orders, recommended decisions, decisions, and other documents under the Uniform Rules.

(e) Enforcement Counsel means any individual who files a notice of appearance as counsel on behalf of the OCC in an adjudicatory proceeding.

(f) Final order means an order issued by the Comptroller with or without the consent of the affected institution or the institution-affiliated party, that has become final, without regard to the pendency of any petition for reconsideration or review.

(g) Institution includes any national bank or Federal branch or agency of a foreign bank.

(h) Institution-affiliated party means any institution- affiliated party as that term is defined in section 3(u) of the FDIA (12 U.S.C. 1813(u)).

(i) Local Rules means those rules promulgated by the OCC in the subparts of this part excluding subpart A.

(j) OCC means the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

(k) OFIA means the Office of Financial Institution Adjudication, the executive body charged with overseeing the administration of administrative enforcement proceedings for the OCC, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (“Board of Governors”), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”), the Office of Thrift Supervision (“OTS”), and the National Credit Union Administration (“NCUA”).

(l) Party means the OCC and any person named as a party in any notice.

(m) Person means an individual, sole proprietor, partnership, corporation, unincorporated association, trust, joint venture, pool, syndicate, agency or other entity or organization, including an institution as defined in paragraph (g) of this section.

(n) Respondent means any party other than the OCC.

(o) Uniform Rules means those rules in subpart A of this part that are common to the OCC, the Board of Governors, the FDIC, the OTS, and the NCUA.

(p) Violation includes any action (alone or with another or others) for or toward causing, bringing about, participating in, counseling, or aiding or abetting a violation.

[56 FR 38028, Aug. 9, 1991, as amended at 73 FR 22243, Apr. 24, 2008]

§19.4   Authority of the Comptroller.

The Comptroller may, at any time during the pendency of a proceeding, perform, direct the performance of, or waive performance of, any act which could be done or ordered by the administrative law judge.

§19.5   Authority of the administrative law judge.

(a) General rule. All proceedings governed by this part shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of chapter 5 of title 5 of the United States Code. The administrative law judge shall have all powers necessary to conduct a proceeding in a fair and impartial manner and to avoid unnecessary delay.

(b) Powers. The administrative law judge shall have all powers necessary to conduct the proceeding in accordance with paragraph (a) of this section, including the following powers:

(1) To administer oaths and affirmations;

(2) To issue subpoenas, subpoenas duces tecum, and protective orders, as authorized by this part, and to quash or modify any such subpoenas and orders;

(3) To receive relevant evidence and to rule upon the admission of evidence and offers of proof;

(4) To take or cause depositions to be taken as authorized by this subpart;

(5) To regulate the course of the hearing and the conduct of the parties and their counsel;

(6) To hold scheduling and/or pre-hearing conferences as set forth in §19.31;

(7) To consider and rule upon all procedural and other motions appropriate in an adjudicatory proceeding, provided that only the Comptroller shall have the power to grant any motion to dismiss the proceeding or to decide any other motion that results in a final determination of the merits of the proceeding;

(8) To prepare and present to the Comptroller a recommended decision as provided herein;

(9) To recuse himself or herself by motion made by a party or on his or her own motion;

(10) To establish time, place and manner limitations on the attendance of the public and the media for any public hearing; and

(11) To do all other things necessary and appropriate to discharge the duties of a presiding officer.

[56 FR 38028, Aug. 9, 1991; 56 FR 41726, Aug. 22, 1991]

§19.6   Appearance and practice in adjudicatory proceedings.

(a) Appearance before the OCC or an administrative law judge—(1) By attorneys. Any member in good standing of the bar of the highest court of any state, commonwealth, possession, territory of the United States, or the District of Columbia may represent others before the OCC if such attorney is not currently suspended or debarred from practice before the OCC.

(2) By non-attorneys. An individual may appear on his or her own behalf; a member of a partnership may represent the partnership; a duly authorized officer, director, or employee of any government unit, agency, institution, corporation or authority may represent that unit, agency, institution, corporation or authority if such officer, director, or employee is not currently suspended or debarred from practice before the OCC.

(3) Notice of appearance. Any individual acting as counsel on behalf of a party, including the Comptroller, shall file a notice of appearance with OFIA at or before the time that the individual submits papers or otherwise appears on behalf of a party in the adjudicatory proceeding. The notice of appearance must include a written declaration that the individual is currently qualified as provided in paragraph (a)(1) or (a)(2) of this section and is authorized to represent the particular party. By filing a notice of appearance on behalf of a party in an adjudicatory proceeding, the counsel agrees and represents that he or she is authorized to accept service on behalf of the represented party and that, in the event of withdrawal from representation, he or she will, if required by the administrative law judge, continue to accept service until new counsel has filed a notice of appearance or until the represented party indicates that he or she will proceed on a pro se basis.

(b) Sanctions. Dilatory, obstructionist, egregious, contemptuous or contumacious conduct at any phase of any adjudicatory proceeding may be grounds for exclusion or suspension of counsel from the proceeding.

[56 FR 38028, Aug. 9, 1991; 56 FR 41726, Aug. 22, 1991; 56 FR 63551, Dec. 4, 1991; 61 FR 20334, May 6, 1996]

§19.7   Good faith certification.

(a) General requirement. Every filing or submission of record following the issuance of a notice shall be signed by at least one counsel of record in his or her individual name and shall state that counsel's address and telephone number. A party who acts as his or her own counsel shall sign his or her individual name and state his or her address and telephone number on every filing or submission of record.

(b) Effect of signature. (1) The signature of counsel or a party shall constitute a certification that: the counsel or party has read the filing or submission of record; to the best of his or her knowledge, information, and belief formed after reasonable inquiry, the filing or submission of record is well-grounded in fact and is warranted by existing law or a good faith argument for the extension, modification, or reversal of existing law; and the filing or submission of record is not made for any improper purpose, such as to harass or to cause unnecessary delay or needless increase in the cost of litigation.

(2) If a filing or submission of record is not signed, the administrative law judge shall strike the filing or submission of record, unless it is signed promptly after the omission is called to the attention of the pleader or movant.

(c) Effect of making oral motion or argument. The act of making any oral motion or oral argument by any counsel or party constitutes a certification that to the best of his or her knowledge, information, and belief formed after reasonable inquiry, his or her statements are well-grounded in fact and are warranted by existing law or a good faith argument for the extension, modification, or reversal of existing law, and are not made for any improper purpose, such as to harass or to cause unnecessary delay or needless increase in the cost of litigation.

§19.8   Conflicts of interest.

(a) Conflict of interest in representation. No person shall appear as counsel for another person in an adjudicatory proceeding if it reasonably appears that such representation may be materially limited by that counsel's responsibilities to a third person or by the counsel's own interests. The administrative law judge may take corrective measures at any stage of a proceeding to cure a conflict of interest in representation, including the issuance of an order limiting the scope of representation or disqualifying an individual from appearing in a representative capacity for the duration of the proceeding.

(b) Certification and waiver. If any person appearing as counsel represents two or more parties to an adjudicatory proceeding or also represents a non-party on a matter relevant to an issue in the proceeding, counsel must certify in writing at the time of filing the notice of appearance required by §19.6(a):

(1) That the counsel has personally and fully discussed the possibility of conflicts of interest with each such party and non-party; and

(2) That each such party and non-party waives any right it might otherwise have had to assert any known conflicts of interest or to assert any non-material conflicts of interest during the course of the proceeding.

[56 FR 38028, Aug. 9, 1991, as amended at 61 FR 20334, May 6, 1996]

§19.9   Ex parte communications.

(a) Definition—(1) Ex parte communication means any material oral or written communication relevant to the merits of an adjudicatory proceeding that was neither on the record nor on reasonable prior notice to all parties that takes place between:

(i) An interested person outside the OCC (including such person's counsel); and

(ii) The administrative law judge handling that proceeding, the Comptroller, or a decisional employee.

(2) Exception. A request for status of the proceeding does not constitute an ex parte communication.

(b) Prohibition of ex parte communications. From the time the notice is issued by the Comptroller until the date that the Comptroller issues his or her final decision pursuant to §19.40(c):

(1) No interested person outside the OCC shall make or knowingly cause to be made an ex parte communication to the Comptroller, the administrative law judge, or a decisional employee; and

(2) The Comptroller, administrative law judge, or decisional employee shall not make or knowingly cause to be made to any interested person outside the OCC any ex parte communication.

(c) Procedure upon occurrence of ex parte communication. If an ex parte communication is received by the administrative law judge, the Comptroller or any other person identified in paragraph (a) of this section, that person shall cause all such written communications (or, if the communication is oral, a memorandum stating the substance of the communication) to be placed on the record of the proceeding and served on all parties. All other parties to the proceeding shall have an opportunity, within ten days of receipt of service of the ex parte communication, to file responses thereto and to recommend any sanctions, in accordance with paragraph (d) of this section, that they believe to be appropriate under the circumstances.

(d) Sanctions. Any party or his or her counsel who makes a prohibited ex parte communication, or who encourages or solicits another to make any such communication, may be subject to any appropriate sanction or sanctions imposed by the Comptroller or the administrative law judge including, but not limited to, exclusion from the proceedings and an adverse ruling on the issue which is the subject of the prohibited communication.

(e) Separation of functions. Except to the extent required for the disposition of ex parte matters as authorized by law, the administrative law judge may not consult a person or party on any matter relevant to the merits of the adjudication, unless on notice and opportunity for all parties to participate. An employee or agent engaged in the performance of investigative or prosecuting functions for the OCC in a case may not, in that or a factually related case, participate or advise in the decision, recommended decision, or agency review of the recommended decision under §19.40, except as witness or counsel in public proceedings.

[56 FR 38028, Aug. 9, 1991, as amended at 60 FR 30184, June 8, 1995]

§19.10   Filing of papers.

(a) Filing. Any papers required to be filed, excluding documents produced in response to a discovery request pursuant to §§19.25 and 19.26, shall be filed with OFIA, except as otherwise provided.

(b) Manner of filing. Unless otherwise specified by the Comptroller or the administrative law judge, filing may be accomplished by:

(1) Personal service;

(2) Delivering the papers to a reliable commercial courier service, overnight delivery service, or to the U.S. Post Office for Express Mail delivery;

(3) Mailing the papers by first class, registered, or certified mail; or

(4) Transmission by electronic media, only if expressly authorized, and upon any conditions specified, by the Comptroller or the administrative law judge. All papers filed by electronic media shall also concurrently be filed in accordance with paragraph (c) of this section.

(c) Formal requirements as to papers filed—(1) Form. All papers filed must set forth the name, address, and telephone number of the counsel or party making the filing and must be accompanied by a certification setting forth when and how service has been made on all other parties. All papers filed must be double-spaced and printed or typewritten on 812 × 11 inch paper, and must be clear and legible.

(2) Signature. All papers must be dated and signed as provided in §19.7.

(3) Caption. All papers filed must include at the head thereof, or on a title page, the name of the OCC and of the filing party, the title and docket number of the proceeding, and the subject of the particular paper.

(4) Number of copies. Unless otherwise specified by the Comptroller or the administrative law judge, an original and one copy of all documents and papers shall be filed, except that only one copy of transcripts of testimony and exhibits shall be filed.

§19.11   Service of papers.

(a) By the parties. Except as otherwise provided, a party filing papers shall serve a copy upon the counsel of record for all other parties to the proceeding so represented, and upon any party not so represented.

(b) Method of service. Except as provided in paragraphs (c)(2) and (d) of this section, a serving party shall use one or more of the following methods of service:

(1) Personal service;

(2) Delivering the papers to a reliable commercial courier service, overnight delivery service, or to the U.S. Post Office for Express Mail delivery;

(3) Mailing the papers by first class, registered, or certified mail; or

(4) Transmission by electronic media, only if the parties mutually agree. Any papers served by electronic media shall also concurrently be served in accordance with the requirements of §19.10(c).

(c) By the Comptroller or the administrative law judge. (1) All papers required to be served by the Comptroller or the administrative law judge upon a party who has appeared in the proceeding in accordance with §19.6 shall be served by any means specified in paragraph (b) of this section.

(2) If a party has not appeared in the proceeding in accordance with §19.6, the Comptroller or the administrative law judge shall make service by any of the following methods:

(i) By personal service;

(ii) If the person to be served is an individual, by delivery to a person of suitable age and discretion at the physical location where the individual resides or works;

(iii) If the person to be served is a corporation or other association, by delivery to an officer, managing or general agent, or to any other agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive service and, if the agent is one authorized by statute to receive service and the statute so requires, by also mailing a copy to the party;

(iv) By registered or certified mail addressed to the person's last known address; or

(v) By any other method reasonably calculated to give actual notice.

(d) Subpoenas. Service of a subpoena may be made:

(1) By personal service;

(2) If the person to be served is an individual, by delivery to a person of suitable age and discretion at the physical location where the individual resides or works;

(3) By delivery to an agent, which, in the case of a corporation or other association, is delivery to an officer, managing or general agent, or to any other agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive service and, if the agent is one authorized by statute to receive service and the statute so requires, by also mailing a copy to the party;

(4) By registered or certified mail addressed to the person's last known address; or

(5) By any other method reasonably calculated to give actual notice.

(e) Area of service. Service in any state, territory, possession of the United States, or the District of Columbia, on any person or company doing business in any state, territory, possession of the United States, or the District of Columbia, or on any person as otherwise provided by law, is effective without regard to the place where the hearing is held, provided that if service is made on a foreign bank in connection with an action or proceeding involving one or more of its branches or agencies located in any state, territory, possession of the United States, or the District of Columbia, service shall be made on at least one branch or agency so involved.

[56 FR 38028, Aug. 9, 1991, as amended at 61 FR 20334, May 6, 1996]

§19.12   Construction of time limits.

(a) General rule. In computing any period of time prescribed by this subpart, the date of the act or event that commences the designated period of time is not included. The last day so computed is included unless it is a Saturday, Sunday, or Federal holiday. When the last day is a Saturday, Sunday, or Federal holiday, the period runs until the end of the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or Federal holiday. Intermediate Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays are included in the computation of time. However, when the time period within which an act is to be performed is ten days or less, not including any additional time allowed for in paragraph (c) of this section, intermediate Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays are not included.

(b) When papers are deemed to be filed or served. (1) Filing and service are deemed to be effective:

(i) In the case of personal service or same day commercial courier delivery, upon actual service;

(ii) In the case of overnight commercial delivery service, U.S. Express Mail delivery, or first class, registered, or certified mail, upon deposit in or delivery to an appropriate point of collection;

(iii) In the case of transmission by electronic media, as specified by the authority receiving the filing, in the case of filing, and as agreed among the parties, in the case of service.

(2) The effective filing and service dates specified in paragraph (b)(1) of this section may be modified by the Comptroller or administrative law judge in the case of filing or by agreement of the parties in the case of service.

(c) Calculation of time for service and filing of responsive papers. Whenever a time limit is measured by a prescribed period from the service of any notice or paper, the applicable time limits are calculated as follows:

(1) If service is made by first class, registered, or certified mail, add three calendar days to the prescribed period;

(2) If service is made by express mail or overnight delivery service, add one calendar day to the prescribed period; or

(3) If service is made by electronic media transmission, add one calendar day to the prescribed period, unless otherwise determined by the Comptroller or the administrative law judge in the case of filing, or by agreement among the parties in the case of service.

[56 FR 38028, Aug. 9, 1991, as amended at 61 FR 20335, May 6, 1996]

§19.13   Change of time limits.

Except as otherwise provided by law, the administrative law judge may, for good cause shown, extend the time limits prescribed by the Uniform Rules or by any notice or order issued in the proceedings. After the referral of the case to the Comptroller pursuant to §19.38, the Comptroller may grant extensions of the time limits for good cause shown. Extensions may be granted at the motion of a party after notice and opportunity to respond is afforded all non-moving parties or on the Comptroller's or the administrative law judge's own motion.

§19.14   Witness fees and expenses.

Witnesses subpoenaed for testimony or depositions shall be paid the same fees for attendance and mileage as are paid in the United States district courts in proceedings in which the United States is a party, provided that, in the case of a discovery subpoena addressed to a party, no witness fees or mileage need be paid. Fees for witnesses shall be tendered in advance by the party requesting the subpoena, except that fees and mileage need not be tendered in advance where the OCC is the party requesting the subpoena. The OCC shall not be required to pay any fees to, or expenses of, any witness not subpoenaed by the OCC.

§19.15   Opportunity for informal settlement.

Any respondent may, at any time in the proceeding, unilaterally submit to Enforcement Counsel written offers or proposals for settlement of a proceeding, without prejudice to the rights of any of the parties. No such offer or proposal shall be made to any OCC representative other than Enforcement Counsel. Submission of a written settlement offer does not provide a basis for adjourning or otherwise delaying all or any portion of a proceeding under this part. No settlement offer or proposal, or any subsequent negotiation or resolution, is admissible as evidence in any proceeding.

§19.16   OCC's right to conduct examination.

Nothing contained in this subpart limits in any manner the right of the OCC to conduct any examination, inspection, or visitation of any institution or institution-affiliated party, or the right of the OCC to conduct or continue any form of investigation authorized by law.

§19.17   Collateral attacks on adjudicatory proceeding.

If an interlocutory appeal or collateral attack is brought in any court concerning all or any part of an adjudicatory proceeding, the challenged adjudicatory proceeding shall continue without regard to the pendency of that court proceeding. No default or other failure to act as directed in the adjudicatory proceeding within the times prescribed in this subpart shall be excused based on the pendency before any court of any interlocutory appeal or collateral attack.

[56 FR 38028, Aug. 9, 1991; 56 FR 41726, Aug. 22, 1991]

§19.18   Commencement of proceeding and contents of notice.

(a) Commencement of proceeding. (1)(i) Except for change-in-control proceedings under section 7(j)(4) of the FDIA, 12 U.S.C. 1817(j)(4), a proceeding governed by this subpart is commenced by issuance of a notice by the Comptroller.

(ii) The notice must be served by the Comptroller upon the respondent and given to any other appropriate financial institution supervisory authority where required by law.

(iii) The notice must be filed with OFIA.

(2) Change-in control proceedings under section 7(j)(4) of the FDIA (12 U.S.C. 1817(j)(4)) commence with the issuance of an order by the Comptroller.

(b) Contents of notice. The notice must set forth:

(1) The legal authority for the proceeding and for the OCC's jurisdiction over the proceeding;

(2) A statement of the matters of fact or law showing that the OCC is entitled to relief;

(3) A proposed order or prayer for an order granting the requested relief;

(4) The time, place, and nature of the hearing as required by law or regulation;

(5) The time within which to file an answer as required by law or regulation;

(6) The time within which to request a hearing as required by law or regulation; and

(7) That the answer and/or request for a hearing shall be filed with OFIA.

§19.19   Answer.

(a) When. Within 20 days of service of the notice, respondent shall file an answer as designated in the notice. In a civil money penalty proceeding, respondent shall also file a request for a hearing within 20 days of service of the notice.

(b) Content of answer. An answer must specifically respond to each paragraph or allegation of fact contained in the notice and must admit, deny, or state that the party lacks sufficient information to admit or deny each allegation of fact. A statement of lack of information has the effect of a denial. Denials must fairly meet the substance of each allegation of fact denied; general denials are not permitted. When a respondent denies part of an allegation, that part must be denied and the remainder specifically admitted. Any allegation of fact in the notice which is not denied in the answer must be deemed admitted for purposes of the proceeding. A respondent is not required to respond to the portion of a notice that constitutes the prayer for relief or proposed order. The answer must set forth affirmative defenses, if any, asserted by the respondent.

(c) Default—(1) Effect of failure to answer. Failure of a respondent to file an answer required by this section within the time provided constitutes a waiver of his or her right to appear and contest the allegations in the notice. If no timely answer is filed, Enforcement Counsel may file a motion for entry of an order of default. Upon a finding that no good cause has been shown for the failure to file a timely answer, the administrative law judge shall file with the Comptroller a recommended decision containing the findings and the relief sought in the notice. Any final order issued by the Comptroller based upon a respondent's failure to answer is deemed to be an order issued upon consent.

(2) Effect of failure to request a hearing in civil money penalty proceedings. If respondent fails to request a hearing as required by law within the time provided, the notice of assessment constitutes a final and unappealable order.

§19.20   Amended pleadings.

(a) Amendments. The notice or answer may be amended or supplemented at any stage of the proceeding. The respondent must answer an amended notice within the time remaining for the respondent's answer to the original notice, or within ten days after service of the amended notice, whichever period is longer, unless the Comptroller or administrative law judge orders otherwise for good cause.

(b) Amendments to conform to the evidence. When issues not raised in the notice or answer are tried at the hearing by express or implied consent of the parties, they will be treated in all respects as if they had been raised in the notice or answer, and no formal amendments are required. If evidence is objected to at the hearing on the ground that it is not within the issues raised by the notice or answer, the administrative law judge may admit the evidence when admission is likely to assist in adjudicating the merits of the action and the objecting party fails to satisfy the administrative law judge that the admission of such evidence would unfairly prejudice that party's action or defense upon the merits. The administrative law judge may grant a continuance to enable the objecting party to meet such evidence.

[61 FR 20335, May 6, 1996]

§19.21   Failure to appear.

Failure of a respondent to appear in person at the hearing or by a duly authorized counsel constitutes a waiver of respondent's right to a hearing and is deemed an admission of the facts as alleged and consent to the relief sought in the notice. Without further proceedings or notice to the respondent, the administrative law judge shall file with the Comptroller a recommended decision containing the findings and the relief sought in the notice.

§19.22   Consolidation and severance of actions.

(a) Consolidation. (1) On the motion of any party, or on the administrative law judge's own motion, the administrative law judge may consolidate, for some or all purposes, any two or more proceedings, if each such proceeding involves or arises out of the same transaction, occurrence or series of transactions or occurrences, or involves at least one common respondent or a material common question of law or fact, unless such consolidation would cause unreasonable delay or injustice.

(2) In the event of consolidation under paragraph (a)(1) of this section, appropriate adjustment to the prehearing schedule must be made to avoid unnecessary expense, inconvenience, or delay.

(b) Severance. The administrative law judge may, upon the motion of any party, sever the proceeding for separate resolution of the matter as to any respondent only if the administrative law judge finds that:

(1) Undue prejudice or injustice to the moving party would result from not severing the proceeding; and

(2) Such undue prejudice or injustice would outweigh the interests of judicial economy and expedition in the complete and final resolution of the proceeding.

§19.23   Motions.

(a) In writing. (1) Except as otherwise provided herein, an application or request for an order or ruling must be made by written motion.

(2) All written motions must state with particularity the relief sought and must be accompanied by a proposed order.

(3) No oral argument may be held on written motions except as otherwise directed by the administrative law judge. Written memoranda, briefs, affidavits or other relevant material or documents may be filed in support of or in opposition to a motion.

(b) Oral motions. A motion may be made orally on the record unless the administrative law judge directs that such motion be reduced to writing.

(c) Filing of motions. Motions must be filed with the administrative law judge, except that following the filing of the recommended decision, motions must be filed with the Comptroller.

(d) Responses. (1) Except as otherwise provided herein, within ten days after service of any written motion, or within such other period of time as may be established by the administrative law judge or the Comptroller, any party may file a written response to a motion. The administrative law judge shall not rule on any oral or written motion before each party has had an opportunity to file a response.

(2) The failure of a party to oppose a written motion or an oral motion made on the record is deemed a consent by that party to the entry of an order substantially in the form of the order accompanying the motion.

(e) Dilatory motions. Frivolous, dilatory or repetitive motions are prohibited. The filing of such motions may form the basis for sanctions.

(f) Dispositive motions. Dispositive motions are governed by §§19.29 and 19.30.

§19.24   Scope of document discovery.

(a) Limits on discovery. (1) Subject to the limitations set out in paragraphs (b), (c), and (d) of this section, a party to a proceeding under this subpart may obtain document discovery by serving a written request to produce documents. For purposes of a request to produce documents, the term “documents” may be defined to include drawings, graphs, charts, photographs, recordings, data stored in electronic form, and other data compilations from which information can be obtained, or translated, if necessary, by the parties through detection devices into reasonably usable form, as well as written material of all kinds.

(2) Discovery by use of deposition is governed by subpart I of this part.

(3) Discovery by use of interrogatories is not permitted.

(b) Relevance. A party may obtain document discovery regarding any matter, not privileged, that has material relevance to the merits of the pending action. Any request to produce documents that calls for irrelevant material, that is unreasonable, oppressive, excessive in scope, unduly burdensome, or repetitive of previous requests, or that seeks to obtain privileged documents will be denied or modified. A request is unreasonable, oppressive, excessive in scope, or unduly burdensome if, among other things, it fails to include justifiable limitations on the time period covered and the geographic locations to be searched, the time provided to respond in the request is inadequate, or the request calls for copies of documents to be delivered to the requesting party and fails to include the requestor's written agreement to pay in advance for the copying, in accordance with §19.25.

(c) Privileged matter. Privileged documents are not discoverable. Privileges include the attorney-client privilege, work-product privilege, any government's or government agency's deliberative process privilege, and any other privileges the Constitution, any applicable act of Congress, or the principles of common law provide.

(d) Time limits. All discovery, including all responses to discovery requests, shall be completed at least 20 days prior to the date scheduled for the commencement of the hearing, except as provided in the Local Rules. No exceptions to this time limit shall be permitted, unless the administrative law judge finds on the record that good cause exists for waiving the requirements of this paragraph.

[56 FR 38028, Aug. 9, 1991, as amended at 61 FR 20335, May 6, 1996]

§19.25   Request for document discovery from parties.

(a) General rule. Any party may serve on any other party a request to produce for inspection any discoverable documents that are in the possession, custody, or control of the party upon whom the request is served. The request must identify the documents to be produced either by individual item or by category, and must describe each item and category with reasonable particularity. Documents must be produced as they are kept in the usual course of business or must be organized to correspond with the categories in the request.

(b) Production or copying. The request must specify a reasonable time, place, and manner for production and performing any related acts. In lieu of inspecting the documents, the requesting party may specify that all or some of the responsive documents be copied and the copies delivered to the requesting party. If copying of fewer than 250 pages is requested, the party to whom the request is addressed shall bear the cost of copying and shipping charges. If a party requests 250 pages or more of copying, the requesting party shall pay for the copying and shipping charges. Copying charges are the current per-page copying rate imposed by 12 CFR part 4 implementing the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552). The party to whom the request is addressed may require payment in advance before producing the documents.

(c) Obligation to update responses. A party who has responded to a discovery request with a response that was complete when made is not required to supplement the response to include documents thereafter acquired, unless the responding party learns that:

(1) The response was materially incorrect when made; or

(2) The response, though correct when made, is no longer true and a failure to amend the response is, in substance, a knowing concealment.

(d) Motions to limit discovery. (1) Any party that objects to a discovery request may, within ten days of being served with such request, file a motion in accordance with the provisions of §19.23 to strike or otherwise limit the request. If an objection is made to only a portion of an item or category in a request, the portion objected to shall be specified. Any objections not made in accordance with this paragraph and §19.23 are waived.

(2) The party who served the request that is the subject of a motion to strike or limit may file a written response within five days of service of the motion. No other party may file a response.

(e) Privilege. At the time other documents are produced, the producing party must reasonably identify all documents withheld on the grounds of privilege and must produce a statement of the basis for the assertion of privilege. When similar documents that are protected by deliberative process, attorney work-product, or attorney-client privilege are voluminous, these documents may be identified by category instead of by individual document. The administrative law judge retains discretion to determine when the identification by category is insufficient.

(f) Motions to compel production. (1) If a party withholds any documents as privileged or fails to comply fully with a discovery request, the requesting party may, within ten days of the assertion of privilege or of the time the failure to comply becomes known to the requesting party, file a motion in accordance with the provisions of §19.23 for the issuance of a subpoena compelling production.

(2) The party who asserted the privilege or failed to comply with the request may file a written response to a motion to compel within five days of service of the motion. No other party may file a response.

(g) Ruling on motions. After the time for filing responses pursuant to this section has expired, the administrative law judge shall rule promptly on all motions filed pursuant to this section. If the administrative law judge determines that a discovery request, or any of its terms, calls for irrelevant material, is unreasonable, oppressive, excessive in scope, unduly burdensome, or repetitive of previous requests, or seeks to obtain privileged documents, he or she may deny or modify the request, and may issue appropriate protective orders, upon such conditions as justice may require. The pendency of a motion to strike or limit discovery or to compel production is not a basis for staying or continuing the proceeding, unless otherwise ordered by the administrative law judge. Notwithstanding any other provision in this part, the administrative law judge may not release, or order a party to produce, documents withheld on grounds of privilege if the party has stated to the administrative law judge its intention to file a timely motion for interlocutory review of the administrative law judge's order to produce the documents, and until the motion for interlocutory review has been decided.

(h) Enforcing discovery subpoenas. If the administrative law judge issues a subpoena compelling production of documents by a party, the subpoenaing party may, in the event of noncompliance and to the extent authorized by applicable law, apply to any appropriate United States district court for an order requiring compliance with the subpoena. A party's right to seek court enforcement of a subpoena shall not in any manner limit the sanctions that may be imposed by the administrative law judge against a party who fails to produce subpoenaed documents.

[56 FR 38028, Aug. 9, 1991, as amended at 61 FR 20335, May 6, 1996]

§19.26   Document subpoenas to nonparties.

(a) General rules. (1) Any party may apply to the administrative law judge for the issuance of a document discovery subpoena addressed to any person who is not a party to the proceeding. The application must contain a proposed document subpoena and a brief statement showing the general relevance and reasonableness of the scope of documents sought. The subpoenaing party shall specify a reasonable time, place, and manner for making production in response to the document subpoena.

(2) A party shall only apply for a document subpoena under this section within the time period during which such party could serve a discovery request under §19.24(d). The party obtaining the document subpoena is responsible for serving it on the subpoenaed person and for serving copies on all parties. Document subpoenas may be served in any state, territory, or possession of the United States, the District of Columbia, or as otherwise provided by law.

(3) The administrative law judge shall promptly issue any document subpoena requested pursuant to this section. If the administrative law judge determines that the application does not set forth a valid basis for the issuance of the subpoena, or that any of its terms are unreasonable, oppressive, excessive in scope, or unduly burdensome, he or she may refuse to issue the subpoena or may issue it in a modified form upon such conditions as may be consistent with the Uniform Rules.

(b) Motion to quash or modify. (1) Any person to whom a document subpoena is directed may file a motion to quash or modify such subpoena, accompanied by a statement of the basis for quashing or modifying the subpoena. The movant shall serve the motion on all parties, and any party may respond to such motion within ten days of service of the motion.

(2) Any motion to quash or modify a document subpoena must be filed on the same basis, including the assertion of privilege, upon which a party could object to a discovery request under §19.25(d), and during the same time limits during which such an objection could be filed.

(c) Enforcing document subpoenas. If a subpoenaed person fails to comply with any subpoena issued pursuant to this section or any order of the administrative law judge which directs compliance with all or any portion of a document subpoena, the subpoenaing party or any other aggrieved party may, to the extent authorized by applicable law, apply to an appropriate United States district court for an order requiring compliance with so much of the document subpoena as the administrative law judge has not quashed or modified. A party's right to seek court enforcement of a document subpoena shall in no way limit the sanctions that may be imposed by the administrative law judge on a party who induces a failure to comply with subpoenas issued under this section.

§19.27   Deposition of witness unavailable for hearing.

(a) General rules. (1) If a witness will not be available for the hearing, a party desiring to preserve that witness' testimony for the record may apply in accordance with the procedures set forth in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, to the administrative law judge for the issuance of a subpoena, including a subpoena duces tecum, requiring the attendance of the witness at a deposition. The administrative law judge may issue a deposition subpoena under this section upon showing that:

(i) The witness will be unable to attend or may be prevented from attending the hearing because of age, sickness or infirmity, or will otherwise be unavailable;

(ii) The witness' unavailability was not procured or caused by the subpoenaing party;

(iii) The testimony is reasonably expected to be material; and

(iv) Taking the deposition will not result in any undue burden to any other party and will not cause undue delay of the proceeding.

(2) The application must contain a proposed deposition subpoena and a brief statement of the reasons for the issuance of the subpoena. The subpoena must name the witness whose deposition is to be taken and specify the time and place for taking the deposition. A deposition subpoena may require the witness to be deposed at any place within the country in which that witness resides or has a regular place of employment or such other convenient place as the administrative law judge shall fix.

(3) Any requested subpoena that sets forth a valid basis for its issuance must be promptly issued, unless the administrative law judge on his or her own motion, requires a written response or requires attendance at a conference concerning whether the requested subpoena should be issued.

(4) The party obtaining a deposition subpoena is responsible for serving it on the witness and for serving copies on all parties. Unless the administrative law judge orders otherwise, no deposition under this section shall be taken on fewer than ten days' notice to the witness and all parties. Deposition subpoenas may be served in any state, territory, possession of the United States, or the District of Columbia, on any person or company doing business in any state, territory, possession of the United States, or the District of Columbia, or as otherwise permitted by law.

(b) Objections to deposition subpoenas. (1) The witness and any party who has not had an opportunity to oppose a deposition subpoena issued under this section may file a motion with the administrative law judge to quash or modify the subpoena prior to the time for compliance specified in the subpoena, but not more than ten days after service of the subpoena.

(2) A statement of the basis for the motion to quash or modify a subpoena issued under this section must accompany the motion. The motion must be served on all parties.

(c) Procedure upon deposition. (1) Each witness testifying pursuant to a deposition subpoena must be duly sworn, and each party shall have the right to examine the witness. Objections to questions or documents must be in short form, stating the grounds for the objection. Failure to object to questions or documents is not deemed a waiver except where the ground for the objection might have been avoided if the objection had been timely presented. All questions, answers, and objections must be recorded.

(2) Any party may move before the administrative law judge for an order compelling the witness to answer any questions the witness has refused to answer or submit any evidence the witness has refused to submit during the deposition.

(3) The deposition must be subscribed by the witness, unless the parties and the witness, by stipulation, have waived the signing, or the witness is ill, cannot be found, or has refused to sign. If the deposition is not subscribed by the witness, the court reporter taking the deposition shall certify that the transcript is a true and complete transcript of the deposition.

(d) Enforcing subpoenas. If a subpoenaed person fails to comply with any order of the administrative law judge which directs compliance with all or any portion of a deposition subpoena under paragraph (b) or (c)(3) of this section, the subpoenaing party or other aggrieved party may, to the extent authorized by applicable law, apply to an appropriate United States district court for an order requiring compliance with the portions of the subpoena that the administrative law judge has ordered enforced. A party's right to seek court enforcement of a deposition subpoena in no way limits the sanctions that may be imposed by the administrative law judge on a party who fails to comply with, or procures a failure to comply with, a subpoena issued under this section.

§19.28   Interlocutory review.

(a) General rule. The Comptroller may review a ruling of the administrative law judge prior to the certification of the record to the Comptroller only in accordance with the procedures set forth in this section and §19.23.

(b) Scope of review. The Comptroller may exercise interlocutory review of a ruling of the administrative law judge if the Comptroller finds that:

(1) The ruling involves a controlling question of law or policy as to which substantial grounds exist for a difference of opinion;

(2) Immediate review of the ruling may materially advance the ultimate termination of the proceeding;

(3) Subsequent modification of the ruling at the conclusion of the proceeding would be an inadequate remedy; or

(4) Subsequent modification of the ruling would cause unusual delay or expense.

(c) Procedure. Any request for interlocutory review shall be filed by a party with the administrative law judge within ten days of his or her ruling and shall otherwise comply with §19.23. Any party may file a response to a request for interlocutory review in accordance with §19.23(d). Upon the expiration of the time for filing all responses, the administrative law judge shall refer the matter to the Comptroller for final disposition.

(d) Suspension of proceeding. Neither a request for interlocutory review nor any disposition of such a request by the Comptroller under this section suspends or stays the proceeding unless otherwise ordered by the administrative law judge or the Comptroller.

§19.29   Summary disposition.

(a) In general. The administrative law judge shall recommend that the Comptroller issue a final order granting a motion for summary disposition if the undisputed pleaded facts, admissions, affidavits, stipulations, documentary evidence, matters as to which official notice may be taken, and any other evidentiary materials properly submitted in connection with a motion for summary disposition show that:

(1) There is no genuine issue as to any material fact; and

(2) The moving party is entitled to a decision in its favor as a matter of law.

(b) Filing of motions and responses. (1) Any party who believes there is no genuine issue of material fact to be determined and that he or she is entitled to a decision as a matter of law may move at any time for summary disposition in its favor of all or any part of the proceeding. Any party, within 20 days after service of such a motion, or within such time period as allowed by the administrative law judge, may file a response to such motion.

(2) A motion for summary disposition must be accompanied by a statement of the material facts as to which the moving party contends there is no genuine issue. Such motion must be supported by documentary evidence, which may take the form of admissions in pleadings, stipulations, depositions, investigatory depositions, transcripts, affidavits and any other evidentiary materials that the moving party contends support his or her position. The motion must also be accompanied by a brief containing the points and authorities in support of the contention of the moving party. Any party opposing a motion for summary disposition must file a statement setting forth those material facts as to which he or she contends a genuine dispute exists. Such opposition must be supported by evidence of the same type as that submitted with the motion for summary disposition and a brief containing the points and authorities in support of the contention that summary disposition would be inappropriate.

(c) Hearing on motion. At the request of any party or on his or her own motion, the administrative law judge may hear oral argument on the motion for summary disposition.

(d) Decision on motion. Following receipt of a motion for summary disposition and all responses thereto, the administrative law judge shall determine whether the moving party is entitled to summary disposition. If the administrative law judge determines that summary disposition is warranted, the administrative law judge shall submit a recommended decision to that effect to the Comptroller. If the administrative law judge finds that no party is entitled to summary disposition, he or she shall make a ruling denying the motion.

§19.30   Partial summary disposition.

If the administrative law judge determines that a party is entitled to summary disposition as to certain claims only, he or she shall defer submitting a recommended decision as to those claims. A hearing on the remaining issues must be ordered. Those claims for which the administrative law judge has determined that summary disposition is warranted will be addressed in the recommended decision filed at the conclusion of the hearing.

§19.31   Scheduling and prehearing conferences.

(a) Scheduling conference. Within 30 days of service of the notice or order commencing a proceeding or such other time as parties may agree, the administrative law judge shall direct counsel for all parties to meet with him or her in person at a specified time and place prior to the hearing or to confer by telephone for the purpose of scheduling the course and conduct of the proceeding. This meeting or telephone conference is called a “scheduling conference.” The identification of potential witnesses, the time for and manner of discovery, and the exchange of any prehearing materials including witness lists, statements of issues, stipulations, exhibits and any other materials may also be determined at the scheduling conference.

(b) Prehearing conferences. The administrative law judge may, in addition to the scheduling conference, on his or her own motion or at the request of any party, direct counsel for the parties to meet with him or her (in person or by telephone) at a prehearing conference to address any or all of the following:

(1) Simplification and clarification of the issues;

(2) Stipulations, admissions of fact, and the contents, authenticity and admissibility into evidence of documents;

(3) Matters of which official notice may be taken;

(4) Limitation of the number of witnesses;

(5) Summary disposition of any or all issues;

(6) Resolution of discovery issues or disputes;

(7) Amendments to pleadings; and

(8) Such other matters as may aid in the orderly disposition of the proceeding.

(c) Transcript. The administrative law judge, in his or her discretion, may require that a scheduling or prehearing conference be recorded by a court reporter. A transcript of the conference and any materials filed, including orders, becomes part of the record of the proceeding. A party may obtain a copy of the transcript at his or her expense.

(d) Scheduling or prehearing orders. At or within a reasonable time following the conclusion of the scheduling conference or any prehearing conference, the administrative law judge shall serve on each party an order setting forth any agreements reached and any procedural determinations made.

§19.32   Prehearing submissions.

(a) Within the time set by the administrative law judge, but in no case later than 14 days before the start of the hearing, each party shall serve on every other party, his or her:

(1) Prehearing statement;

(2) Final list of witnesses to be called to testify at the hearing, including name and address of each witness and a short summary of the expected testimony of each witness;

(3) List of the exhibits to be introduced at the hearing along with a copy of each exhibit; and

(4) Stipulations of fact, if any.

(b) Effect of failure to comply. No witness may testify and no exhibits may be introduced at the hearing if such witness or exhibit is not listed in the prehearing submissions pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section, except for good cause shown.

§19.33   Public hearings.

(a) General rule. All hearings shall be open to the public, unless the Comptroller, in the Comptroller's discretion, determines that holding an open hearing would be contrary to the public interest. Within 20 days of service of the notice or, in the case of change-in-control proceedings under section 7(j)(4) of the FDIA (12 U.S.C. 1817(j)(4)), within 20 days from service of the hearing order, any respondent may file with the Comptroller a request for a private hearing, and any party may file a reply to such a request. A party must serve on the administrative law judge a copy of any request or reply the party files with the Comptroller. The form of, and procedure for, these requests and replies are governed by §19.23. A party's failure to file a request or a reply constitutes a waiver of any objections regarding whether the hearing will be public or private.

(b) Filing document under seal. Enforcement Counsel, in his or her discretion, may file any document or part of a document under seal if disclosure of the document would be contrary to the public interest. The administrative law judge shall take all appropriate steps to preserve the confidentiality of such documents or parts thereof, including closing portions of the hearing to the public.

[56 FR 38028, Aug. 9, 1991, as amended at 61 FR 20336, May 6, 1996]

§19.34   Hearing subpoenas.

(a) Issuance. (1) Upon application of a party showing general relevance and reasonableness of scope of the testimony or other evidence sought, the administrative law judge may issue a subpoena or a subpoena duces tecum requiring the attendance of a witness at the hearing or the production of documentary or physical evidence at the hearing. The application for a hearing subpoena must also contain a proposed subpoena specifying the attendance of a witness or the production of evidence from any state, territory, or possession of the United States, the District of Columbia, or as otherwise provided by law at any designated place where the hearing is being conducted. The party making the application shall serve a copy of the application and the proposed subpoena on every other party.

(2) A party may apply for a hearing subpoena at any time before the commencement of a hearing. During a hearing, a party may make an application for a subpoena orally on the record before the administrative law judge.

(3) The administrative law judge shall promptly issue any hearing subpoena requested pursuant to this section. If the administrative law judge determines that the application does not set forth a valid basis for the issuance of the subpoena, or that any of its terms are unreasonable, oppressive, excessive in scope, or unduly burdensome, he or she may refuse to issue the subpoena or may issue it in a modified form upon any conditions consistent with this subpart. Upon issuance by the administrative law judge, the party making the application shall serve the subpoena on the person named in the subpoena and on each party.

(b) Motion to quash or modify. (1) Any person to whom a hearing subpoena is directed or any party may file a motion to quash or modify the subpoena, accompanied by a statement of the basis for quashing or modifying the subpoena. The movant must serve the motion on each party and on the person named in the subpoena. Any party may respond to the motion within ten days of service of the motion.

(2) Any motion to quash or modify a hearing subpoena must be filed prior to the time specified in the subpoena for compliance but not more than ten days after the date of service of the subpoena upon the movant.

(c) Enforcing subpoenas. If a subpoenaed person fails to comply with any subpoena issued pursuant to this section or any order of the administrative law judge which directs compliance with all or any portion of a document subpoena, the subpoenaing party or any other aggrieved party may seek enforcement of the subpoena pursuant to §19.26(c).

[56 FR 38028, Aug. 9, 1991, as amended at 61 FR 20336, May 6, 1996]

§19.35   Conduct of hearings.

(a) General rules. (1) Hearings shall be conducted so as to provide a fair and expeditious presentation of the relevant disputed issues. Each party has the right to present its case or defense by oral and documentary evidence and to conduct such cross examination as may be required for full disclosure of the facts.

(2) Order of hearing. Enforcement Counsel shall present its case-in-chief first, unless otherwise ordered by the administrative law judge, or unless otherwise expressly specified by law or regulation. Enforcement Counsel shall be the first party to present an opening statement and a closing statement, and may make a rebuttal statement after the respondent's closing statement. If there are multiple respondents, respondents may agree among themselves as to their order of presentation of their cases, but if they do not agree, the administrative law judge shall fix the order.

(3) Examination of witnesses. Only one counsel for each party may conduct an examination of a witness, except that in the case of extensive direct examination, the administrative law judge may permit more than one counsel for the party presenting the witness to conduct the examination. A party may have one counsel conduct the direct examination and another counsel conduct re-direct examination of a witness, or may have one counsel conduct the cross examination of a witness and another counsel conduct the re-cross examination of a witness.

(4) Stipulations. Unless the administrative law judge directs otherwise, all stipulations of fact and law previously agreed upon by the parties, and all documents, the admissibility of which have been previously stipulated, will be admitted into evidence upon commencement of the hearing.

(b) Transcript. The hearing must be recorded and transcribed. The reporter will make the transcript available to any party upon payment by that party to the reporter of the cost of the transcript. The administrative law judge may order the record corrected, either upon motion to correct, upon stipulation of the parties, or following notice to the parties upon the administrative law judge's own motion.

[56 FR 38028, Aug. 9, 1991, as amended at 61 FR 20336, May 6, 1996]

§19.36   Evidence.

(a) Admissibility. (1) Except as is otherwise set forth in this section, relevant, material, and reliable evidence that is not unduly repetitive is admissible to the fullest extent authorized by the Administrative Procedure Act and other applicable law.

(2) Evidence that would be admissible under the Federal Rules of Evidence is admissible in a proceeding conducted pursuant to this subpart.

(3) Evidence that would be inadmissible under the Federal Rules of Evidence may not be deemed or ruled to be inadmissible in a proceeding conducted pursuant to this subpart if such evidence is relevant, material, reliable and not unduly repetitive.

(b) Official notice. (1) Official notice may be taken of any material fact which may be judicially noticed by a United States district court and any material information in the official public records of any Federal or state government agency.

(2) All matters officially noticed by the administrative law judge or the Comptroller shall appear on the record.

(3) If official notice is requested or taken of any material fact, the parties, upon timely request, shall be afforded an opportunity to object.

(c) Documents. (1) A duplicate copy of a document is admissible to the same extent as the original, unless a genuine issue is raised as to whether the copy is in some material respect not a true and legible copy of the original.

(2) Subject to the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section, any document, including a report of examination, supervisory activity, inspection or visitation, prepared by an appropriate Federal financial institutions regulatory agency or by a state regulatory agency, is admissible either with or without a sponsoring witness.

(3) Witnesses may use existing or newly created charts, exhibits, calendars, calculations, outlines or other graphic material to summarize, illustrate, or simplify the presentation of testimony. Such materials may, subject to the administrative law judge's discretion, be used with or without being admitted into evidence.

(d) Objections. (1) Objections to the admissibility of evidence must be timely made and rulings on all objections must appear on the record.

(2) When an objection to a question or line of questioning propounded to a witness is sustained, the examining counsel may make a specific proffer on the record of what he or she expected to prove by the expected testimony of the witness either by representation of counsel or by direct interrogation of the witness.

(3) The administrative law judge shall retain rejected exhibits, adequately marked for identification, for the record, and transmit such exhibits to the Comptroller.

(4) Failure to object to admission of evidence or to any ruling constitutes a waiver of the objection.

(e) Stipulations. The parties may stipulate as to any relevant matters of fact or the authentication of any relevant documents. Such stipulations must be received in evidence at a hearing and are binding on the parties with respect to the matters therein stipulated.

(f) Depositions of unavailable witnesses. (1) If a witness is unavailable to testify at a hearing, and that witness has testified in a deposition to which all parties in a proceeding had notice and an opportunity to participate, a party may offer as evidence all or any part of the transcript of the deposition, including deposition exhibits, if any.

(2) Such deposition transcript is admissible to the same extent that testimony would have been admissible had that person testified at the hearing, provided that if a witness refused to answer proper questions during the depositions, the administrative law judge may, on that basis, limit the admissibility of the deposition in any manner that justice requires.

(3) Only those portions of a deposition received in evidence at the hearing constitute a part of the record.

§19.37   Post-hearing filings.

(a) Proposed findings and conclusions and supporting briefs. (1) Using the same method of service for each party, the administrative law judge shall serve notice upon each party that the certified transcript, together with all hearing exhibits and exhibits introduced but not admitted into evidence at the hearing, has been filed. Any party may file with the administrative law judge proposed findings of fact, proposed conclusions of law, and a proposed order within 30 days following service of this notice by the administrative law judge or within such longer period as may be ordered by the administrative law judge.

(2) Proposed findings and conclusions must be supported by citation to any relevant authorities and by page references to any relevant portions of the record. A post-hearing brief may be filed in support of proposed findings and conclusions, either as part of the same document or in a separate document. Any party who fails to file timely with the administrative law judge any proposed finding or conclusion is deemed to have waived the right to raise in any subsequent filing or submission any issue not addressed in such party's proposed finding or conclusion.

(b) Reply briefs. Reply briefs may be filed within 15 days after the date on which the parties' proposed findings, conclusions, and order are due. Reply briefs must be strictly limited to responding to new matters, issues, or arguments raised in another party's papers. A party who has not filed proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law or a post-hearing brief may not file a reply brief.

(c) Simultaneous filing required. The administrative law judge shall not order the filing by any party of any brief or reply brief in advance of the other party's filing of its brief.

[56 FR 38028, Aug. 9, 1991, as amended at 61 FR 20336, May 6, 1996]

§19.38   Recommended decision and filing of record.

(a) Filing of recommended decision and record. Within 45 days after expiration of the time allowed for filing reply briefs under §19.37(b), the administrative law judge shall file with and certify to the Comptroller, for decision, the record of the proceeding. The record must include the administrative law judge's recommended decision, recommended findings of fact, recommended conclusions of law, and proposed order; all prehearing and hearing transcripts, exhibits, and rulings; and the motions, briefs, memoranda, and other supporting papers filed in connection with the hearing. The administrative law judge shall serve upon each party the recommended decision, findings, conclusions, and proposed order.

(b) Filing of index. At the same time the administrative law judge files with and certifies to the Comptroller for final determination the record of the proceeding, the administrative law judge shall furnish to the Comptroller a certified index of the entire record of the proceeding. The certified index shall include, at a minimum, an entry for each paper, document or motion filed with the administrative law judge in the proceeding, the date of the filing, and the identity of the filer. The certified index shall also include an exhibit index containing, at a minimum, an entry consisting of exhibit number and title or description for: Each exhibit introduced and admitted into evidence at the hearing; each exhibit introduced but not admitted into evidence at the hearing; each exhibit introduced and admitted into evidence after the completion of the hearing; and each exhibit introduced but not admitted into evidence after the completion of the hearing.

[61 FR 20336, May 6, 1996]

§19.39   Exceptions to recommended decision.

(a) Filing exceptions. Within 30 days after service of the recommended decision, findings, conclusions, and proposed order under §19.38, a party may file with the Comptroller written exceptions to the administrative law judge's recommended decision, findings, conclusions or proposed order, to the admission or exclusion of evidence, or to the failure of the administrative law judge to make a ruling proposed by a party. A supporting brief may be filed at the time the exceptions are filed, either as part of the same document or in a separate document.

(b) Effect of failure to file or raise exceptions. (1) Failure of a party to file exceptions to those matters specified in paragraph (a) of this section within the time prescribed is deemed a waiver of objection thereto.

(2) No exception need be considered by the Comptroller if the party taking exception had an opportunity to raise the same objection, issue, or argument before the administrative law judge and failed to do so.

(c) Contents. (1) All exceptions and briefs in support of such exceptions must be confined to the particular matters in, or omissions from, the administrative law judge's recommendations to which that party takes exception.

(2) All exceptions and briefs in support of exceptions must set forth page or paragraph references to the specific parts of the administrative law judge's recommendations to which exception is taken, the page or paragraph references to those portions of the record relied upon to support each exception, and the legal authority relied upon to support each exception.

§19.40   Review by the Comptroller.

(a) Notice of submission to the Comptroller. When the Comptroller determines that the record in the proceeding is complete, the Comptroller shall serve notice upon the parties that the proceeding has been submitted to the Comptroller for final decision.

(b) Oral argument before the Comptroller. Upon the initiative of the Comptroller or on the written request of any party filed with the Comptroller within the time for filing exceptions, the Comptroller may order and hear oral argument on the recommended findings, conclusions, decision, and order of the administrative law judge. A written request by a party must show good cause for oral argument and state reasons why arguments cannot be presented adequately in writing. A denial of a request for oral argument may be set forth in the Comptroller's final decision. Oral argument before the Comptroller must be on the record.

(c) Comptroller's final decision. (1) Decisional employees may advise and assist the Comptroller in the consideration and disposition of the case. The final decision of the Comptroller will be based upon review of the entire record of the proceeding, except that the Comptroller may limit the issues to be reviewed to those findings and conclusions to which opposing arguments or exceptions have been filed by the parties.

(2) The Comptroller shall render a final decision within 90 days after notification of the parties that the case has been submitted for final decision, or 90 days after oral argument, whichever is later, unless the Comptroller orders that the action or any aspect thereof be remanded to the administrative law judge for further proceedings. Copies of the final decision and order of the Comptroller shall be served upon each party to the proceeding, upon other persons required by statute, and, if directed by the Comptroller or required by statute, upon any appropriate state or Federal supervisory authority.

§19.41   Stays pending judicial review.

The commencement of proceedings for judicial review of a final decision and order of the Comptroller may not, unless specifically ordered by the Comptroller or a reviewing court, operate as a stay of any order issued by the Comptroller. The Comptroller may, in his or her discretion, and on such terms as he or she finds just, stay the effectiveness of all or any part of an order pending a final decision on a petition for review of that order.

Subpart B—Procedural Rules for OCC Adjudications

§19.100   Filing documents.

All materials required to be filed with or referred to the Comptroller or the administrative law judge in any proceeding under this part must be filed with the Hearing Clerk, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, 250 E Street, SW., Washington, DC 20219. Filings to be made with the Hearing Clerk include the notice and answer; motions and responses to motions; briefs; the record filed by the administrative law judge after the issuance of a recommended decision; the recommended decision filed by the administrative law judge following a motion for summary disposition; referrals by the administrative law judge of motions for interlocutory review; exceptions and requests for oral argument; and any other papers required to be filed with the Comptroller or the administrative law judge under this part.

[68 FR 48265, Aug. 13, 2002, as amended at 73 FR 22243, Apr. 24, 2008; 79 FR 15641, Mar. 21, 2014]

§19.101   Delegation to OFIA.

Unless otherwise ordered by the Comptroller, administrative adjudications subject to subpart A of this part shall be conducted by an administrative law judge assigned to OFIA.

Subpart C—Removals, Suspensions, and Prohibitions When a Crime Is Charged or a Conviction is Obtained

§19.110   Scope.

This subpart applies to informal hearings afforded to any institution-affiliated party who has been suspended or removed from office or prohibited from further participation in the affairs of any depository institution pursuant to 12 U.S.C. 1818(g) by a notice or order issued by the Comptroller.

[56 FR 38028, Aug. 9, 1991, as amended at 73 FR 22243, Apr. 24, 2008]

§19.111   Suspension, removal, or prohibition.

The Comptroller may serve a notice of suspension or order of removal or prohibition pursuant to 12 U.S.C. 1818(g) on an institution-affiliated party. A copy of such notice or order will be served on any depository institution that the subject of the notice or order is affiliated with at the time the notice or order is issued, whereupon the institution-affiliated party involved must immediately cease service to, or participation in the affairs of, that depository institution and, if so determined by the OCC, any other depository institution. The notice or order will indicate the basis for suspension, removal or prohibition and will inform the institution-affiliated party of the right to request in writing, to be received by the OCC within 30 days from the date that the institution-affiliated party was served with such notice or order, an opportunity to show at an informal hearing that continued service to or participation in the conduct of the affairs of any depository institution has not posed, does not pose, or is not likely to pose a threat to the interests of the depositors of, or has not threatened, does not threaten, or is not likely to threaten to impair public confidence in, any relevant depository institution. The written request must be sent by certified mail to, or served personally with a signed receipt on, the District Deputy Comptroller in the OCC district in which the bank in question is located; if the bank is supervised by Large Bank Supervision, to the Senior Deputy Comptroller for Large Bank Supervision for the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency; if the bank is supervised by Mid-Size/Community Bank Supervision, to the Senior Deputy Comptroller for Mid-Size/Community Bank Supervision for the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency; or if the institution-affiliated party is no longer affiliated with a particular national bank, to the Deputy Comptroller for Special Supervision, Washington, DC 20219. The request must state specifically the relief desired and the grounds on which that relief is based. For purposes of this section, the term depository institution means any depository institution of which the petitioner is or was an institution-affiliated party at the time at which the notice or order was issued by the Comptroller.

[73 FR 22243, Apr. 24, 2008]

§19.112   Informal hearing.

(a) Issuance of hearing order. After receipt of a request for hearing, the District Deputy Comptroller, the Senior Deputy Comptroller for Large Bank Supervision, the Senior Deputy Comptroller for Mid-Size/Community Bank Supervision, or the Deputy Comptroller for Special Supervision, as appropriate, must notify the petitioner requesting the hearing, the OCC's Enforcement and Compliance Division, and the appropriate OCC District Counsel of the date, time, and place fixed for the hearing. The hearing must be scheduled to be held not later than 30 days from the date when a request for hearing is received unless the time is extended in response to a written request of the petitioner. The District Deputy Comptroller, the Senior Deputy Comptroller for Large Bank Supervision, the Senior Deputy Comptroller for Mid-Size/Community Bank Supervision, or the Deputy Comptroller for Special Supervision,, as appropriate, may extend the hearing date only for a specific period of time and must take appropriate action to ensure that the hearing is not unduly delayed.

(b) Appointment of presiding officer. the District Deputy Comptroller, the Senior Deputy Comptroller for Large Bank Supervision, the Senior Deputy Comptroller for Mid-Size/Community Bank Supervision, or the Deputy Comptroller for Special Supervision, as appropriate, must appoint one or more OCC employees as the presiding officer to conduct the hearing. The presiding officer(s) may not have been involved in the proceeding, a factually related proceeding, or the underlying enforcement action in a prosecutorial or investigative role.

(c) Waiver of oral hearing—(1) Petitioner. When the petitioner requests a hearing, the petitioner may elect to have the matter determined by the presiding officer solely on the basis of written submissions by serving on the District Deputy Comptroller, the Senior Deputy Comptroller for Large Bank Supervision, the Senior Deputy Comptroller for Mid-Size/Community Bank Supervision, or the Deputy Comptroller for Special Supervision, as appropriate, and all parties, a signed document waiving the statutory right to appear and make oral argument. The petitioner must present the written submissions to the presiding officer, and serve the other parties, not later than ten days prior to the date fixed for the hearing, or within such shorter time period as the presiding officer may permit.

(2) OCC. The OCC may respond to the petitioner's submissions by presenting the presiding officer with a written response, and by serving the other parties, not later than the date fixed for the hearing, or within such other time period as the presiding officer may require.

(d) Hearing procedures—(1) Conduct of hearing. Hearings under this subpart are not subject to the provisions of subpart A of this part or the adjudicative provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 554-557).

(2) Powers of the presiding officer. The presiding officer shall determine all procedural issues that are governed by this subpart. The presiding officer may also permit or limit the number of witnesses and impose time limitations as he or she deems reasonable. The informal hearing will not be governed by the formal rules of evidence. All oral presentations, when permitted, and documents deemed by the presiding officer to be relevant and material to the proceeding and not unduly repetitious will be considered. The presiding officer may ask questions of any person participating in the hearing and may make any rulings reasonably necessary to facilitate the effective and efficient operation of the hearing.

(3) Presentation. (i) The OCC may appear and the petitioner may appear personally or through counsel at the hearing to present relevant written materials and oral argument. Except as permitted in paragraph (c) of this section, each party, including the OCC, must file a copy of any affidavit, memorandum, or other written material to be presented at the hearing with the presiding officer and must serve the other parties not later than ten days prior to the hearing or within such shorter time period as permitted by the presiding officer.

(ii) If the petitioner or the appointed OCC attorney desires to present oral testimony or witnesses at the hearing, he or she must file a written request with the presiding officer not later than ten days prior to the hearing, or within a shorter time period as permitted by the presiding officer. The names of proposed witnesses should be included, along with the general nature of the expected testimony, and the reasons why oral testimony is necessary. The presiding officer generally will not admit oral testimony or witnesses unless a specific and compelling need is demonstrated. Witnesses, if admitted, shall be sworn.

(iii) In deciding on any suspension, the presiding officer shall not consider the ultimate question of the guilt or innocence of the individual with respect to the criminal charges which are outstanding. In deciding on any removal, the presiding officer shall not consider challenges to or efforts to impeach the validity of the conviction. The presiding officer may consider facts in either situation, however, which show the nature of the events on which the indictment or conviction was based.

(4) Record. A transcript of the proceedings may be taken if the petitioner requests a transcript and agrees to pay all expenses or if the presiding officer determines that the nature of the case warrants a transcript. The presiding officer may order the record to be kept open for a reasonable period following the hearing, not to exceed five business days, to permit the petitioner or the appointed OCC attorney to submit additional documents for the record. Thereafter, no further submissions may be accepted except for good cause shown.

[56 FR 38028, Aug. 9, 1991, as amended at 61 FR 20337, May 6, 1996; 73 FR 22244, Apr. 24, 2008]

§19.113   Recommended and final decisions.

(a) The presiding officer must issue a recommended decision to the Comptroller within 20 days of the conclusion of the hearing or, when the petitioner has waived an oral hearing, within 20 days of the date fixed for the hearing. The presiding officer must serve promptly a copy of the recommended decision on the parties to the proceeding. The decision must include a summary of the facts and arguments of the parties.

(b) Each party may, within ten days of being served with the presiding officer's recommended decision, submit to the Comptroller comments on the recommended decision.

(c) Within 60 days of the conclusion of the hearing or, when the petitioner has waived an oral hearing, within 60 days from the date fixed for the hearing, the Comptroller must notify the petitioner by registered mail whether the suspension or removal from office, and prohibition from participation in any manner in the affairs of any depository institution, will be affirmed, terminated, or modified. The Comptroller's decision must include a statement of reasons supporting the decision. The Comptroller's decision is a final and unappealable order.

(d) A finding of not guilty or other disposition of the charge on which a notice of suspension was based does not preclude the Comptroller from thereafter instituting removal proceedings pursuant to section 8(e) of the FDIA (12 U.S.C. 1818(e)) and subpart: A of this part.

(e) A removal or prohibition by order remains in effect until terminated by the Comptroller. A suspension or prohibition by notice remains in effect until the criminal charge is disposed of or until terminated by the Comptroller.

(f) A suspended or removed individual may petition the Comptroller to reconsider the decision any time after the expiration of a 12-month period from the date of the decision, but no petition for reconsideration may be made within 12 months of a previous petition. The petition must state specifically the relief sought and the grounds therefor, and may be accompanied by a supporting memorandum and any other documentation the petitioner wishes to have considered. No hearing need be granted on the petition for reconsideration.

[56 FR 38028, Aug. 9, 1991, as amended at 61 FR 20337, May 6, 1996; 73 FR 22244, Apr. 24, 2008]

Subpart D—Exemption Hearings Under Section 12(h) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934

§19.120   Scope.

The rules in this subpart apply to informal hearings that may be held by the Comptroller to determine whether, pursuant to authority in sections 12 (h) and (i) of the Exchange Act (15 U.S.C. 78l (h) and (i)), to exempt in whole or in part an issuer or a class of issuers from the provisions of section 12(g), or from section 13 or 14 of the Exchange Act (15 U.S.C. 78l(g), 78m or 78n), or whether to exempt from section 16 of the Exchange Act (15 U.S.C. 78p) any officer, director, or beneficial owner of securities of an issuer. The only issuers covered by this subpart are banks whose securities are registered pursuant to section 12(g) of the Exchange Act (15 U.S.C. 78l(g)). The Comptroller may deny an application for exemption without a hearing.

§19.121   Application for exemption.

An issuer or an individual (officer, director or shareholder) may submit a written application for an exemption order to the Securities and Corporate Practices Division, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Washington, DC 20219. The application must specify the type of exemption sought and the reasons therefor, including an explanation of why an exemption would not be inconsistent with the public interest or the protection of investors. The Securities and Corporate Practices Division shall inform the applicant in writing whether a hearing will be held to consider the matter.

§19.122   Newspaper notice.

Upon being informed that an application will be considered at a hearing, the applicant shall publish a notice one time in a newspaper of general circulation in the community where the issuer's main office is located. The notice must state: the name and title of any individual applicants; the type of exemption sought; the fact that a hearing will be held; and a statement that interested persons may submit to the Securities and Corporate Practices Division, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Washington, DC 20219, within 30 days from the date of the newspaper notice, written comments concerning the application and a written request for an opportunity to be heard. The applicant shall promptly furnish a copy of the notice to the Securities and Corporate Practices Division, and to bank shareholders.

§19.123   Informal hearing.

(a) Conduct of proceeding. The adjudicative provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act, formal rules of evidence and subpart A of this part do not apply to hearings conducted under this subpart, except as provided in §19.100(b).

(b) Notice of hearing. Following the comment period, the Comptroller shall send a notice which fixes a date, time and place for hearing to each applicant and to any person who has requested an opportunity to be heard.

(c) Presiding officer. The Comptroller shall designate a presiding officer to conduct the hearing. The presiding officer shall determine all procedural questions not governed by this subpart and may limit the number of witnesses and impose time and presentation limitations as are deemed reasonable. At the conclusion of the informal hearing, the presiding officer shall issue a recommended decision to the Comptroller as to whether the exemption should issue. The decision shall include a summary of the facts and arguments of the parties.

(d) Attendance. The applicant and any person who has requested an opportunity to be heard may attend the hearing, with or without counsel. The hearing shall be open to the public. In addition, the applicant and any other hearing participant may introduce oral testimony through such witnesses as the presiding officer shall permit.

(e) Order of presentation. (1) The applicant may present an opening statement of a length decided by the presiding officer. Then each of the hearing participants, or one among them selected with the approval of the presiding officer, may present an opening statement. The opening statement should summarize concisely what the applicant and each participant intends to show.

(2) The applicant shall have an opportunity to make an oral presentation of facts and materials or submit written materials for the record. One or more of the hearing participants may make an oral presentation or a written submission.

(3) After the above presentations, the applicant, followed by one or more of the hearing participants, may make concise summary statements reviewing their position.

(f) Witnesses. The obtaining and use of witnesses is the responsibility of the parties afforded the hearing. All witnesses shall be present on their own volition, but any person appearing as a witness may be questioned by each applicant, any hearing participant, and the presiding officer. Witnesses shall be sworn unless otherwise directed by the presiding officer.

(g) Evidence. The presiding officer may exclude data or materials deemed to be improper or irrelevant. Formal rules of evidence do not apply. Documentary material must be of a size consistent with ease of handling and filing. The presiding officer may determine the number of copies that must be furnished for purposes of the hearing.

(h) Transcript. A transcript of each proceeding will be arranged by the OCC, with all expenses, including the furnishing of a copy to the presiding officer, being borne by the applicant.

§19.124   Decision of the Comptroller.

Following the conclusion of the hearing and the submission of the record and the presiding officer's recommended decision to the Comptroller for decision, the Comptroller shall notify the applicant and all persons who have so requested in writing of the final disposition of the application. Exemptions granted must be in the form of an order which specifies the type of exemption granted and its terms and conditions.

Subpart E—Disciplinary Proceedings Involving the Federal Securities Laws

§19.130   Scope.

(a) Except as provided in this subpart, subpart A of this part applies to proceedings by the Comptroller to determine whether, pursuant to authority contained in sections 15B(c)(5), 15C(c)(2)(A), 17A(c)(3), and 17A(c)(4)(C) of the Exchange Act (15 U.S.C. 78o-4(c)(5), 78o-5(c)(2)(A), 78q-1(c)(3)(A), and 78q-1(c)(4)(C)), to take disciplinary action against the following:

(1) A bank which is a municipal securities dealer, or any person associated or seeking to become associated with such a municipal securities dealer;

(2) A bank which is a government securities broker or dealer, or any person associated with such government securities broker or dealer; or

(3) A bank which is a transfer agent, or any person associated or seeking to become associated with such transfer agent.

(b) In addition to the issuance of disciplinary orders after opportunity for hearing, the Comptroller or the Comptroller's delegate may issue and serve any notices and temporary or permanent cease-and-desist orders and take any actions that are authorized by section 8 of the FDIA (12 U.S.C. 1818), sections 15B(c)(5), 15C(c)(2)(B), and 17A(d)(2) of the Exchange Act, and other subparts of this part against the following:

(1) The parties listed in paragraph (a) of this section; and

(2) A bank which is a clearing agency.

(c) Nothing in this subpart impairs the powers conferred on the Comptroller by other provisions of law.

§19.131   Notice of charges and answer.

(a) Proceedings are commenced when the Comptroller serves a notice of charges on a bank or associated person. The notice must indicate the type of disciplinary action being contemplated and the grounds therefor, and fix a date, time and place for hearing. The hearing must be set for a date at least 30 days after service of the notice. A party served with a notice of charges may file an answer as prescribed in §19.19. Any party who fails to appear at a hearing personally or by a duly authorized representative shall be deemed to have consented to the issuance of a disciplinary order.

(b) All proceedings under this subpart must be commenced, and the notice of charges must be filed, on a public basis, unless otherwise ordered by the Comptroller. Pursuant to §19.33(a), a request for a private hearing may be filed within 20 days of service of the notice.

§19.132   Disciplinary orders.

(a) In the event of consent, or if on the record filed by the administrative law judge, the Comptroller finds that any act or omission or violation specified in the notice of charges has been established, the Comptroller may serve on the bank or persons concerned a disciplinary order, as provided in the Exchange Act. The order may:

(1) Censure, limit the activities, functions or operations, or suspend or revoke the registration of a bank which is a municipal securities dealer;

(2) Censure, suspend or bar any person associated or seeking to become associated with a municipal securities dealer;

(3) Censure, limit the activities, functions or operations, or suspend or bar a bank which is a government securities broker or dealer;

(4) Censure, limit the activities, functions or operations, or suspend or bar any person associated with a government securities broker or dealer;

(5) Deny registration to, limit the activities, functions, or operations or suspend or revoke the registration of a bank which is a transfer agent; or

(6) Censure or limit the activities or functions, or suspend or bar, any person associated or seeking to become associated with a transfer agent.

(b) A disciplinary order is effective when served on the party or parties involved and remains effective and enforceable until it is stayed, modified, terminated, or set aside by action of the Comptroller or a reviewing court.

§19.135   Applications for stay or review of disciplinary actions imposed by registered clearing agencies.

(a) Stays. The rules adopted by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) pursuant to section 19 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78s) regarding applications by persons for whom the SEC is the appropriate regulatory agency for stays of disciplinary sanctions or summary suspensions imposed by registered clearing agencies (17 CFR 240.19d-2) apply to applications by national banks. References to the “Commission” are deemed to refer to the “OCC.”

(b) Reviews. The regulations adopted by the SEC pursuant to section 19 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78s) regarding applications by persons for whom the SEC is the appropriate regulatory agency for reviews of final disciplinary sanctions, denials of participation, or prohibitions or limitations of access to services imposed by registered clearing agencies (17 CFR 240.19d-3(a)-(f)) apply to applications by national banks. References to the “Commission” are deemed to refer to the “OCC.”

[61 FR 68559, Dec. 30, 1996]

Subpart F—Civil Money Penalty Authority Under the Securities Laws

§19.140   Scope.

(a) Except as provided in this subpart, subpart A of this part applies to proceedings by the Comptroller to determine whether, pursuant to authority contained in section 21B of the Exchange Act (15 U.S.C. 78u-2), in proceedings commenced pursuant to sections 15B, 15C, and 17A of the Exchange Act (15 U.S.C. 78o-4, 78o-5, or 78q-1) for which the OCC is the appropriate regulatory agency under section 3(a)(34) of the Exchange Act (15 U.S.C. 78c(a)(34)), the Comptroller may impose a civil money penalty against the following:

(1) A bank which is a municipal securities dealer, or any person associated or seeking to become associated with such a municipal securities dealer;

(2) A bank which is a government securities broker or dealer, or any person associated with such government securities broker or dealer; or

(3) A bank which is a transfer agent, or any person associated or seeking to become associated with such transfer agent.

(b) All proceedings under this subpart must be commenced, and the notice of assessment must be filed, on a public basis, unless otherwise ordered by the Comptroller. Pursuant to §19.33(a), any request for a private hearing must be filed within 20 days of service of the notice.

Subpart G—Cease-and-Desist Authority Under the Securities Laws

§19.150   Scope.

(a) Except as provided in this subpart, subpart A of this part applies to proceedings by the Comptroller to determine whether, pursuant to authority contained in sections 12(i) and 21C of the Exchange Act (15 U.S.C. 78l(i) and 78u-3), the Comptroller may initiate cease-and-desist proceedings against a national bank for violations of sections 12, 13, 14(a), 14(c), 14(d), 14(f), and 16 of the Exchange Act or regulations or rules issued thereunder (15 U.S.C. 78l, 78m, 78n(a), 78n(c), 78n(d), 78n(f), and 78p) .

(b) All proceedings under this subpart must be commenced, and the notice of charges must be filed, on a public basis, unless otherwise ordered by the Comptroller. Pursuant to §19.33(a), any request for a private hearing must be filed within 20 days of service of the notice.

Subpart H—Change in Bank Control

§19.160   Scope.

(a) Section 7(j) of the FDIA (12 U.S.C. 1817(j)) provides that no person may acquire control of an insured depository institution unless the appropriate Federal bank regulatory agency has been given prior written notice of the proposed acquisition. If, after investigating and soliciting comment on the proposed acquisition, the agency decides that the acquisition should be disapproved, the agency shall mail a written notification to the proposed acquiring person in writing within three days of the decision. The party can then request an agency hearing on the proposed acquisition. The OCC's procedures for reviewing notices of proposed acquisitions in change-in-control proceedings are set forth in §5.50 of this chapter.

(b) Unless otherwise provided in this subpart, the rules in subpart A of this part set forth the procedures applicable to requests for OCC hearings.

[56 FR 38028, Aug. 9, 1991, as amended at 61 FR 20337, May 6, 1996]

§19.161   Notice of disapproval and hearing initiation.

(a) Notice of disapproval. The OCC's written disapproval of a proposed acquisition of control of a national bank must:

(1) Contain a statement of the basis for the disapproval; and

(2) Indicate that the filer may request a hearing.

(b) Hearing request. Following receipt of a notice of disapproval, a filer may request a hearing on the proposed acquisition. A hearing request must:

(1) Be in writing; and

(2) Be filed with the Hearing Clerk of the OCC within ten days after service on the filer of the notice of disapproval. If a filer fails to request a hearing with a timely written request, the notice of disapproval constitutes a final and unappealable order.

(c) Hearing order. Following receipt of a hearing request, the Comptroller shall issue, within 20 days, an order that sets forth:

(1) The legal authority for the proceeding and for the OCC's jurisdiction over the proceeding;

(2) The matters of fact or law upon which the disapproval is based; and

(3) The requirement for filing an answer to the hearing order with OFIA within 20 days after service of the hearing order.

(d) Answer. An answer to a hearing order must specifically deny those portions of the order that are disputed. Those portions of the order that the filer does not specifically deny are deemed admitted by the filer. Any hearing under this subpart is limited to those portions of the order that are specifically denied.

(e) Effect of failure to answer. Failure of a filer to file an answer within 20 days after service of the hearing order constitutes a waiver of the filer's right to appear and contest the allegations in the hearing order. If a filer does not file a timely answer, enforcement counsel may file a motion for entry of an order of default. Upon a finding that no good cause has been shown for the failure to file a timely answer, the administrative law judge shall file with the Comptroller a recommended decision containing the findings and the relief sought in the hearing order. Any final order issued by the Comptroller based upon a filer's failure to answer is deemed to be an order issued upon consent and is a final and unappealable order.

[61 FR 20337, May 6, 1996]

Subpart I—Discovery Depositions and Subpoenas

§19.170   Discovery depositions.

(a) General rule. In any proceeding instituted under or subject to the provisions of subpart A of this part, a party may take the deposition of an expert, or of a person, including another party, who has direct knowledge of matters that are non-privileged, relevant, and material to the proceeding, and where there is need for the deposition. The deposition of experts shall be limited to those experts who are expected to testify at the hearing.

(b) Notice. A party desiring to take a deposition shall give reasonable notice in writing to the deponent and to every other party to the proceeding. The notice must state the time and place for taking the deposition, and the name and address of the person to be deposed.

(c) Time limits. A party may take depositions at any time after the commencement of the proceeding, but no later than ten days before the scheduled hearing date, except with permission of the administrative law judge for good cause shown.

(d) Conduct of the deposition. The witness must be duly sworn, and each party will have the right to examine the witness with respect to all non-privileged, relevant, and material matters of which the witness has factual, direct, and personal knowledge. Objections to questions or exhibits must be in short form and must state the grounds for the objection. Failure to object to questions or exhibits is not a waiver except where the grounds for the objection might have been avoided if the objection had been timely presented.

(e) Recording the testimony—(1) Generally. The party taking the deposition must have a certified court reporter record the witness's testimony:

(i) By stenotype machine or electronic sound recording device;

(ii) Upon agreement of the parties, by any other method; or

(iii) For good cause and with leave of the administrative law judge, by any other method.

(2) Cost. The party taking the deposition must bear the cost of the recording and transcribing the witness's testimony.

(3) Transcript. Unless the parties agree that a transcription is not necessary, the court reporter must provide a transcript of the witness's testimony to the party taking the deposition and must make a copy of the transcript available to each party upon payment by that party of the cost of the copy.

(f) Protective orders. At any time after notice of a deposition has been given, a party may file a motion for the issuance of a protective order. Such protective order may prohibit, terminate, or limit the scope or manner of the taking of a deposition. The administrative law judge shall grant such protective order upon a showing of sufficient grounds, including that the deposition:

(1) Is unreasonable, oppressive, excessive in scope, or unduly burdensome;

(2) Involves privileged, irrelevant, or immaterial matters;

(3) Involves unwarranted attempts to pry into a party's preparation for trial; or

(4) Is being conducted in bad faith or in such manner as to unreasonably annoy, embarrass, or oppress the witness.

(g) Fees. Deposition witnesses, including expert witnesses, shall be paid the same expenses in the same manner as are paid witnesses in the district courts of the United States in proceedings in which the United States is a party. Expenses in accordance with this paragraph shall be paid by the party seeking to take the deposition.

[56 FR 38028, Aug. 9, 1991, as amended at 61 FR 20338, May 6, 1996]

§19.171   Deposition subpoenas.

(a) Issuance. At the request of a party, the administrative law judge shall issue a subpoena requiring the attendance of a witness at a discovery deposition under paragraph (a) of this section. The attendance of a witness may be required from any place in any state or territory that is subject to the jurisdiction of the United States or as otherwise permitted by law.

(b) Service—(1) Methods of service. The party requesting the subpoena must serve it on the person named therein, or on that person's counsel, by any of the methods identified in §19.11(d).

(2) Proof of service. The party serving the subpoena must file proof of service with the administrative law judge.

(c) Motion to quash. A person named in a subpoena may file a motion to quash or modify the subpoena. A statement of the reasons for the motion must accompany it and a copy of the motion must be served on the party which requested the subpoena. The motion must be made prior to the time for compliance specified in the subpoena and not more than ten days after the date of service of the subpoena, or if the subpoena is served within 15 days of the hearing, within five days after the date of service.

(d) Enforcement of deposition subpoena. Enforcement of a deposition subpoena shall be in accordance with the procedures of §19.27(d).

[56 FR 38028, Aug. 9, 1991, as amended at 61 FR 20338, May 6, 1996]

Subpart J—Formal Investigations

§19.180   Scope.

This subpart and §19.8 apply to formal investigations initiated by order of the Comptroller or the Comptroller's delegate and pertain to the exercise of powers specified in 12 U.S.C. 481, 1818(n) and 1820(c), and section 21 of the Exchange Act (15 U.S.C. 78u). This subpart does not restrict or in any way affect the authority of the Comptroller to conduct examinations into the affairs or ownership of banks and their affiliates.

§19.181   Confidentiality of formal investigations.

Information or documents obtained in the course of a formal investigation are confidential and may be disclosed only in accordance with the provisions of part 4 of this chapter.

§19.182   Order to conduct a formal investigation.

A formal investigation begins with the issuance of an order signed by the Comptroller or the Comptroller's delegate. The order must designate the person or persons who will conduct the investigation. Such persons are authorized, among other things, to issue subpoenas duces tecum, to administer oaths, and receive affirmations as to any matter under investigation by the Comptroller. Upon application and for good cause shown, the Comptroller may limit, modify, or withdraw the order at any stage of the proceedings.

§19.183   Rights of witnesses.

(a) Any person who is compelled or requested to furnish testimony, documentary evidence, or other information with respect to any matter under formal investigation shall, on request, be shown the order initiating the investigation.

(b) Any person who, in a formal investigation, is compelled to appear and testify, or who appears and testifies by request or permission of the Comptroller, may be accompanied, represented, and advised by counsel. The right to be accompanied, represented, and advised by counsel means the right of a person testifying to have an attorney present at all times while testifying and to have the attorney—

(1) Advise the person before, during and after the conclusion of testimony;

(2) Question the person briefly at the conclusion of testimony to clarify any of the answers given; and

(3) Make summary notes during the testimony solely for the use of the person.

(c) Any person who has given or will give testimony and counsel representing the person may be excluded from the proceedings during the taking of testimony of any other witness.

(d) Any person who is compelled to give testimony is entitled to inspect any transcript that has been made of the testimony but may not obtain a copy if the Comptroller's representatives conducting the proceedings have cause to believe that the contents should not be disclosed pending completion of the investigation.

(e) Any designated representative conducting an investigative proceeding shall report to the Comptroller any instances where a person has been guilty of dilatory, obstructionist or insubordinate conduct during the course of the proceeding or any other instance involving a violation of this part. The Comptroller may take such action as the circumstances warrant, including exclusion of the offending individual or individuals from participation in the proceedings.

§19.184   Service of subpoena and payment of witness expenses.

(a) Methods of service. Service of a subpoena may be made by any of the methods identified in §19.11(d).

(b) Expenses. A witness who is subpoenaed will be paid the same expenses in the same manner as witnesses in the district courts of the United States. The expenses need not be tendered at the time a subpoena is served.

[61 FR 20338, May 6, 1996]

Subpart K—Parties and Representational Practice Before the OCC; Standards of Conduct

§19.190   Scope.

This subpart contains rules relating to parties and representational practice before the OCC. This subpart includes the imposition of sanctions by the administrative law judge, any other presiding officer appointed pursuant to subparts C and D of this part, or the Comptroller against parties or their counsel in an adjudicatory proceeding under this part. This subpart also covers other disciplinary sanctions—censure, suspension or debarment—against individuals who appear before the OCC in a representational capacity either in an adjudicatory proceeding under this part or in any other matters connected with presentations to the OCC relating to a client's rights, privileges, or liabilities. This representation includes, but is not limited to, the practice of attorneys and accountants. Employees of the OCC are not subject to disciplinary proceedings under this subpart.

[56 FR 38028, Aug. 9, 1991; 56 FR 41726, Aug. 22, 1991]

§19.191   Definitions.

As used in §§19.190 through 19.201, the following terms shall have the meaning given in this section unless the context otherwise requires:

(a) Practice before the OCC includes any matters connected with presentations to the OCC or any of its officers or employees relating to a client's rights, privileges or liabilities under laws or regulations administered by the OCC. Such matters include, but are not limited to, representation of a client in an adjudicatory proceeding under this part; the preparation of any statement, opinion or other paper or document by an attorney, accountant, or other licensed professional which is filed with, or submitted to, the OCC, on behalf of another person in, or in connection with, any application, notification, report or document; the representation of a person at conferences, hearings and meetings; and the transaction of other business before the OCC on behalf of another person. The term “practice before the OCC” does not include work prepared for a bank solely at its request for use in the ordinary course of its business.

(b) Attorney means any individual who is a member in good standing of the bar of the highest court of any state, possession, territory, commonwealth, of the United States or the District of Columbia.

(c) Accountant means any individual who is duly qualified to practice as a certified public accountant or a public accountant in any state, possession, territory, commonwealth of the United States, or the District of Columbia.

§19.192   Sanctions relating to conduct in an adjudicatory proceeding.

(a) General rule. Appropriate sanctions may be imposed when any party or person representing a party in an adjudicatory proceeding under this part has failed to comply with an applicable statute, regulation, or order, and that failure to comply:

(1) Constitutes contemptuous conduct;

(2) Materially injures or prejudices another party in terms of substantive injury, incurring additional expenses including attorney's fees, prejudicial delay, or otherwise;

(3) Is a clear and unexcused violation of an applicable statute, regulation, or order; or

(4) Unduly delays the proceeding.

(b) Sanctions. Sanctions which may be imposed include any one or more of the following:

(1) Issuing an order against the party;

(2) Rejecting or striking any testimony or documentary evidence offered, or other papers filed, by the party;

(3) Precluding the party from contesting specific issues or findings;

(4) Precluding the party from offering certain evidence or from challenging or contesting certain evidence offered by another party;

(5) Precluding the party from making a late filing or conditioning a late filing on any terms that are just; and

(6) Assessing reasonable expenses, including attorney's fees, incurred by any other party as a result of the improper action or failure to act.

(c) Procedure for imposition of sanctions. (1) Upon the motion of any party, or on his or her own motion, the administrative law judge or other presiding officer may impose sanctions in accordance with this section. The administrative law judge or other presiding officer shall submit to the Comptroller for final ruling any sanction entering a final order that determines the case on the merits.

(2) No sanction authorized by this section, other than refusal to accept late filings, shall be imposed without prior notice to all parties and an opportunity for any party against whom sanctions would be imposed to be heard. Such opportunity to be heard may be on such notice, and the response may be in such form as the administrative law judge or other presiding officer directs. The administrative law judge or other presiding officer may limit the opportunity to be heard to an opportunity of a party or a party's representative to respond orally immediately after the act or inaction covered by this section is noted by the administrative law judge or other presiding officer.

(3) Requests for the imposition of sanctions by any party, and the imposition of sanctions, are subject to interlocutory review pursuant to §19.25 in the same manner as any other ruling.

(d) Section not exclusive. Nothing in this section shall be read as precluding the administrative law judge or other presiding officer or the Comptroller from taking any other action, or imposing any restriction or sanction, authorized by applicable statute or regulation.

§19.193   Censure, suspension or debarment.

The Comptroller may censure an individual or suspend or debar such individual from practice before the OCC if he or she is incompetent in representing a client's rights or interest in a significant matter before the OCC; or engages, or has engaged, in disreputable conduct; or refuses to comply with the rules and regulations in this part; or with intent to defraud in any manner, willfully and knowingly deceives, misleads, or threatens any client or prospective client. The suspension or debarment of an individual may be initiated only upon a finding by the Comptroller that the basis for the disciplinary action is sufficiently egregious.

§19.194   Eligibility of attorneys and accountants to practice.

(a) Attorneys. Any attorney who is qualified to practice as an attorney and is not currently under suspension or debarment pursuant to this subpart may practice before the OCC.

(b) Accountants. Any accountant who is qualified to practice as a certified public accountant or public accountant and is not currently under suspension or debarment by the OCC may practice before the OCC.

§19.195   Incompetence.

Incompetence in the representation of a client's rights and interests in a significant matter before the OCC is grounds for suspension or debarment. The term “incompetence” encompasses conduct that reflects a lack of the knowledge, judgment and skill that a professional would ordinarily and reasonably be expected to exercise in adequately representing the rights and interests of a client. Such conduct includes, but is not limited to:

(a) Handling a matter which the individual knows or should know that he or she is not competent to handle, without associating with a professional who is competent to handle such matter.

(b) Handling a matter without adequate preparation under the circumstances.

(c) Neglect in a matter entrusted to him or her.

§19.196   Disreputable conduct.

Disreputable conduct for which an individual may be censured, debarred, or suspended from practice before the OCC includes:

(a) Willfully or recklessly violating or willfully or recklessly aiding and abetting the violation of any provision of the Federal banking or applicable securities laws or the rules and regulations thereunder or conviction of any offense involving dishonesty or breach of trust;

(b) Knowingly or recklessly giving false or misleading information, or participating in any way in the giving of false information to the OCC or any officer or employee thereof, or to any tribunal authorized to pass upon matters administered by the OCC in connection with any matter pending or likely to be pending before it. The term “information” includes facts or other statements contained in testimony, financial statements, applications for enrollment, affidavits, declarations, or any other document or written or oral statement;

(c) Directly or indirectly attempting to influence, or offering or agreeing to attempt to influence, the official action of any officer or employee of the OCC by the use of threats, false accusations, duress or coercion, by the offer of any special inducement or promise of advantage or by the bestowing of any gift, favor, or thing of value.

(d) Disbarment or suspension from practice as an attorney, or debarment or suspension from practice as a certified public accountant or public accountant, by any duly constituted authority of any state, possession, or commonwealth of the United States, or the District of Columbia for the conviction of a felony or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude in matters relating to the supervisory responsibilities of the OCC, where the conviction has not been reversed on appeal.

(e) Knowingly aiding or abetting another individual to practice before the OCC during that individual's period of suspension, debarment, or ineligibility.

(f) Contemptuous conduct in connection with practice before the OCC, and knowingly making false accusations and statements, or circulating or publishing malicious or libelous matter.

(g) Suspension, debarment or removal from practice before the Board of Governors, the FDIC, the OTS, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, or any other Federal or state agency; and

(h) Willful violation of any of the regulations contained in this part.

[56 FR 38028, Aug. 9, 1991, as amended at 68 FR 48265, Aug. 13, 2003]

§19.197   Initiation of disciplinary proceeding.

(a) Receipt of information. An individual, including any employee of the OCC, who has reason to believe that an individual practicing before the OCC in a representative capacity has engaged in any conduct that would serve as a basis for censure, suspension or debarment under §19.192, may make a report thereof and forward it to the OCC or to such person as may be delegated responsibility for such matters by the Comptroller.

(b) Censure without formal proceeding. Upon receipt of information regarding an individual's qualification to practice before the OCC, the Comptroller or the Comptroller's delegate may, after giving the individual notice and opportunity to respond, censure such individual.

(c) Institution of formal disciplinary proceeding. When the Comptroller has reason to believe that any individual who practices before the OCC in a representative capacity has engaged in conduct that would serve as a basis for censure, suspension or debarment under §19.192, the Comptroller may, after giving the individual notice and opportunity to respond, institute a formal disciplinary proceeding against such individual. The proceeding will be conducted pursuant to §19.199 and initiated by a complaint which names the individual as a respondent and is signed by the Comptroller or the Comptroller's delegate. Except in cases of willfulness, or when time, the nature of the proceeding, or the public interest do not permit, a proceeding under this section may not be commenced until the respondent has been informed, in writing, of the facts or conduct which warrant institution of a proceeding and the respondent has been accorded the opportunity to comply with all lawful requirements or take whatever action may be necessary to remedy the conduct that is the basis for the commencement of the proceeding.

[56 FR 38028, Aug. 9, 1991; 56 FR 46667, Sept. 13, 1991]

§19.198   Conferences.

(a) General. The Comptroller may confer with a proposed respondent concerning allegations of misconduct or other grounds for censure, debarment or suspension, regardless of whether a proceeding for debarment or suspension has been commenced. If a conference results in a stipulation in connection with a proceeding in which the individual is the respondent, the stipulation may be entered in the record at the request of either party to the proceeding.

(b) Resignation or voluntary suspension. In order to avoid the institution of, or a decision in, a debarment or suspension proceeding, a person who practices before the OCC may consent to suspension from practice. At the discretion of the Comptroller, the individual may be suspended or debarred in accordance with the consent offered.

§19.199   Proceedings under this subpart.

Any hearing held under this subpart is held before an administrative law judge pursuant to procedures set forth in subpart A of this part. The Comptroller or the Comptroller's delegate shall appoint a person to represent the OCC in the hearing. Any person having prior involvement in the matter which is the basis for the suspension or debarment proceeding is disqualified from representing the OCC in the hearing. The hearing will be closed to the public unless the Comptroller on his or her own initiative, or on the request of a party, otherwise directs. The administrative law judge shall issue a recommended decision to the Comptroller who shall issue the final decision and order. The Comptroller may censure, debar or suspend an individual, or take such other disciplinary action as the Comptroller deems appropriate.

§19.200   Effect of suspension, debarment or censure.

(a) Debarment. If the final order against the respondent is for debarment, the individual may not practice before the OCC unless otherwise permitted to do so by the Comptroller.

(b) Suspension. If the final order against the respondent is for suspension, the individual may not practice before the OCC during the period of suspension.

(c) Censure. If the final order against the respondent is for censure, the individual may be permitted to practice before the OCC, but such individual's future representations may be subject to conditions designed to promote high standards of conduct. If a written letter of censure is issued, a copy will be maintained in the OCC's files.

(d) Notice of debarment or suspension. Upon the issuance of a final order for suspension or debarment, the Comptroller shall give notice of the order to appropriate officers and employees of the OCC and to interested departments and agencies of the Federal government. The Comptroller or the Comptroller's delegate shall also give notice to the appropriate authorities of the state in which any debarred or suspended individual is or was licensed to practice.

§19.201   Petition for reinstatement.

At the expiration of the period of time designated in the order of debarment, the Comptroller may entertain a petition for reinstatement from any person debarred from practice before the OCC. The Comptroller may grant reinstatement only if satisfied that the petitioner is likely to act in accordance with the regulations in this part, and that granting reinstatement would not be contrary to the public interest. Any request for reinstatement shall be limited to written submissions unless the Comptroller, in his or her discretion, affords the petitioner a hearing.

Subpart L—Equal Access to Justice Act

§19.210   Scope.

The Equal Access to Justice Act regulations applicable to formal OCC adjudicatory proceedings under this part are set forth at 31 CFR part 6.

Subpart M—Procedures for Reclassifying a Bank Based on Criteria Other Than Capital

Source: 57 FR 44895, Sept. 29, 1992, unless otherwise noted.

§19.220   Scope.

This subpart applies to the procedures afforded to any bank that has been reclassified to a lower capital category by a notice or order issued by the OCC pursuant to section 38 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act and this part.

§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. 554-557) 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.

§19.222   Request for rescission of reclassification.

Any bank that has been reclassified under part 6 of this chapter and this subpart, may, upon a change in circumstances, request in writing that the OCC reconsider the reclassification, and may propose that the reclassification be rescinded and that any directives issued in connection with the reclassification be modified, rescinded, or removed. Unless otherwise ordered by the OCC, the bank shall remain subject to the reclassification and to any directives issued in connection with that reclassification while such request is pending before the OCC.

Subpart N—Order To Dismiss a Director or Senior Executive Officer

Source: 57 FR 44896, Sept. 29, 1992, unless otherwise noted.

§19.230   Scope.

This subpart applies to informal hearings afforded to any director or senior executive officer dismissed pursuant to an order issued under 12 U.S.C. 1831o and part 6 of this chapter.

§19.231   Order to dismiss a director or senior executive officer.

(a) Service of notice. When the OCC issues and serves a directive on a bank pursuant to subpart B of part 6 of this chapter requiring the bank to dismiss from office any director or senior executive officer under section 38(f)(2)(F)(ii) of the FDI Act, the OCC shall also serve a copy of the directive, or the relevant portions of the directive where appropriate, upon the person to be dismissed.

(b) Response to directive—(1) Request for reinstatement. A director or senior executive officer who has been served with a directive under paragraph (a) of this section (Respondent) may file a written request for reinstatement. The request for reinstatement shall be filed within 10 calendar days of the receipt of the directive by the Respondent, unless further time is allowed by the OCC at the request of the Respondent.

(2) Contents of request; informal hearing. The request for reinstatement shall include reasons why the Respondent should be reinstated, and may include a request for an informal hearing before the OCC or its designee under this section. If the Respondent desires to present oral testimony or witnesses at the hearing, the Respondent shall include a request to do so with the request for an informal hearing. The 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 or opportunity to present oral testimony or witnesses.

(3) Effective date. Unless otherwise ordered by the OCC, the dismissal shall remain in effect while a request for reinstatement is pending.

(c) Order for informal hearing. Upon receipt of a timely written request from a Respondent for an informal hearing on the portion of a directive requiring a bank to dismiss from office any director or senior executive officer, the OCC shall issue an order directing an informal hearing to commence no later than 30 days after receipt of the request, unless the Respondent requests a later date. 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.

(d) Hearing procedures. (1) A Respondent may appear at the hearing personally or through counsel. A Respondent shall have the right to introduce relevant written materials and to present oral argument. A Respondent 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 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 Respondent 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.

(e) Standard for review. A Respondent shall bear the burden of demonstrating that his or her continued employment by or service with the bank would materially strengthen the bank's ability:

(1) To become adequately capitalized, to the extent that the directive was issued as a result of the bank's capital level or failure to submit or implement a capital restoration plan; and

(2) To correct the unsafe or unsound condition or unsafe or unsound practice, to the extent that the directive was issued as a result of classification of the bank based on supervisory criteria other than capital, pursuant to section 38(g) of the FDI Act.

(f) Recommendation of presiding officer. 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 concerning the Respondent's request for reinstatement with the bank.

(g) 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 shall grant or deny the request for reinstatement and notify the Respondent of the OCC's decision. If the OCC denies the request for reinstatement, the OCC shall set forth in the notification the reasons for the OCC's action.

Subpart O—Civil Money Penalty Adjustments

Source: 65 FR 77252, Dec. 11, 2000, unless otherwise noted.

§19.240   Civil money penalties.

(a) The maximum amount of each civil money penalty within the OCC's jurisdiction is set forth as follows:

eCFR graphic er06no12.002.gif

View or download PDF

(b) Except as provided in paragraph (c) of this section, the maximum amount of each civil money penalty, set forth in the chart in paragraph (a) of this section, applies to violations that occurred on or after December 6, 2012.

(c) The maximum amount of the civil money penalty prescribed by 42 U.S.C. 4012a(f)(5), set forth in the chart in paragraph (a) of this section, applies to violations that occurred on or after July 6, 2012.

[77 FR 66533, Nov. 6, 2012, as amended at 77 FR 76356, Dec. 28, 2012]

Subpart P—Removal, Suspension, and Debarment of Accountants From Performing Audit Services

Source: 68 FR 48265, Aug. 13, 2003, unless otherwise noted.

§19.241   Scope.

This subpart, which implements section 36(g)(4) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (FDI Act) (12 U.S.C. 1831m(g)(4)), provides rules and procedures for the removal, suspension, or debarment of independent public accountants and their accounting firms from performing independent audit and attestation services required by section 36 of the FDI Act (12 U.S.C. 1831m) for insured national banks and Federal branches and agencies of foreign banks.

[73 FR 22244, Apr. 24, 2008]

§19.242   Definitions.

As used in this subpart, the following terms shall have the meaning given below unless the context requires otherwise:

(a) Accounting firm means a corporation, proprietorship, partnership, or other business firm providing audit services.

(b) Audit services means any service required to be performed by an independent public accountant by section 36 of the FDIA and 12 CFR part 363, including attestation services.

(c) Independent public accountant (accountant) means any individual who performs or participates in providing audit services.

§19.243   Removal, suspension, or debarment.

(a) Good cause for removal, suspension, or debarment—(1) Individuals. The Comptroller may remove, suspend, or debar an independent public accountant from performing audit services for insured national banks that are subject to section 36 of the FDIA if, after service of a notice of intention and opportunity for hearing in the matter, the Comptroller finds that the accountant:

(i) Lacks the requisite qualifications to perform audit services;

(ii) Has knowingly or recklessly engaged in conduct that results in a violation of applicable professional standards, including those standards and conflicts of interest provisions applicable to accountants through the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, Pub. L. 107-204, 116 Stat. 745 (2002) (Sarbanes-Oxley Act), and developed by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board and the Securities and Exchange Commission;

(iii) Has engaged in negligent conduct in the form of:

(A) A single instance of highly unreasonable conduct that results in a violation of applicable professional standards in circumstances in which an accountant knows, or should know, that heightened scrutiny is warranted; or

(B) Repeated instances of unreasonable conduct, each resulting in a violation of applicable professional standards, that indicate a lack of competence to perform audit services;

(iv) Has knowingly or recklessly given false or misleading information, or knowingly or recklessly participated in any way in the giving of false or misleading information, to the OCC or any officer or employee of the OCC;

(v) Has engaged in, or aided and abetted, a material and knowing or reckless violation of any provision of the Federal banking or securities laws or the rules and regulations thereunder, or any other law;

(vi) Has been removed, suspended, or debarred from practice before any Federal or state agency regulating the banking, insurance, or securities industries, other than by an action listed in §19.244, on grounds relevant to the provision of audit services; or

(vii) Is suspended or debarred for cause from practice as an accountant by any duly constituted licensing authority of any state, possession, commonwealth, or the District of Columbia.

(2) Accounting firms. If the Comptroller determines that there is good cause for the removal, suspension, or debarment of a member or employee of an accounting firm under paragraph (a)(1) of this section, the Comptroller also may remove, suspend, or debar such firm or one or more offices of such firm. In considering whether to remove, suspend, or debar a firm or an office thereof, and the term of any sanction against a firm under this section, the Comptroller may consider, for example:

(i) The gravity, scope, or repetition of the act or failure to act that constitutes good cause for the removal, suspension, or debarment;

(ii) The adequacy of, and adherence to, applicable policies, practices, or procedures for the accounting firm's conduct of its business and the performance of audit services;

(iii) The selection, training, supervision, and conduct of members or employees of the accounting firm involved in the performance of audit services;

(iv) The extent to which managing partners or senior officers of the accounting firm have participated, directly, or indirectly through oversight or review, in the act or failure to act; and

(v) The extent to which the accounting firm has, since the occurrence of the act or failure to act, implemented corrective internal controls to prevent its recurrence.

(3) Limited scope orders. An order of removal, suspension (including an immediate suspension), or debarment may, at the discretion of the Comptroller, be made applicable to a particular national bank or class of national banks.

(4) Remedies not exclusive. The remedies provided in this subpart are in addition to any other remedies the OCC may have under any other applicable provisions of law, rule, or regulation.

(b) Proceedings to remove, suspend, or debar—(1) Initiation of formal removal, suspension, or debarment proceedings. The Comptroller may initiate a proceeding to remove, suspend, or debar an accountant or accounting firm from performing audit services by issuing a written notice of intention to take such action that names the individual or firm as a respondent and describes the nature of the conduct that constitutes good cause for such action.

(2) Hearings under paragraph (b) of this section. An accountant or firm named as a respondent in the notice issued under paragraph (b)(1) of this section may request a hearing on the allegations in the notice. Hearings conducted under this paragraph shall be conducted in the same manner as other hearings under the Uniform Rules of Practice and Procedure (12 CFR part 19, subpart A).

(c) Immediate suspension from performing audit services—(1) In general. If the Comptroller serves a written notice of intention to remove, suspend, or debar an accountant or accounting firm from performing audit services, the Comptroller may, with due regard for the public interest and without a preliminary hearing, immediately suspend such accountant or firm from performing audit services for insured national banks, if the Comptroller:

(i) Has a reasonable basis to believe that the accountant or firm has engaged in conduct (specified in the notice served on the accountant or firm under paragraph (b) of this section) that would constitute grounds for removal, suspension, or debarment under paragraph (a) of this section;

(ii) Determines that immediate suspension is necessary to avoid immediate harm to an insured depository institution or its depositors or to the depository system as a whole; and

(iii) Serves such respondent with written notice of the immediate suspension.

(2) Procedures. An immediate suspension notice issued under this paragraph will become effective upon service. Such suspension will remain in effect until the date the Comptroller dismisses the charges contained in the notice of intention, or the effective date of a final order of removal, suspension, or debarment issued by the Comptroller to the respondent.

(3) Petition for stay. Any accountant or firm immediately suspended from performing audit services in accordance with paragraph (c)(1) of this section may, within 10 calendar days after service of the notice of immediate suspension, file with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Washington, DC 20219 for a stay of such immediate suspension. If no petition is filed within 10 calendar days, the immediate suspension shall remain in effect.

(4) Hearing on petition. Upon receipt of a stay petition, the Comptroller will designate a presiding officer who shall fix a place and time (not more than 10 calendar days after receipt of the petition, unless extended at the request of petitioner) at which the immediately suspended party may appear, personally or through counsel, to submit written materials and oral argument. Any OCC employee engaged in investigative or prosecuting functions for the OCC in a case may not, in that or a factually related case, serve as a presiding officer or participate or advise in the decision of the presiding officer or of the OCC, except as witness or counsel in the proceeding. In the sole discretion of the presiding officer, upon a specific showing of compelling need, oral testimony of witnesses may also be presented. In hearings held pursuant to this paragraph there shall be no discovery and the provisions of §§19.6 through 19.12, 19.16, and 19.21 of this part shall apply.

(5) Decision on petition. Within 30 calendar days after the hearing, the presiding officer shall issue a decision. The presiding officer will grant a stay upon a demonstration that a substantial likelihood exists of the respondent's success on the issues raised by the notice of intention and that, absent such relief, the respondent will suffer immediate and irreparable injury, loss, or damage. In the absence of such a demonstration, the presiding officer will notify the parties that the immediate suspension will be continued pending the completion of the administrative proceedings pursuant to the notice.

(6) Review of presiding officer's decision. The parties may seek review of the presiding officer's decision by filing a petition for review with the presiding officer within 10 calendar days after service of the decision. Replies must be filed within 10 calendar days after the petition filing date. Upon receipt of a petition for review and any reply, the presiding officer shall promptly certify the entire record to the Comptroller. Within 60 calendar days of the presiding officer's certification, the Comptroller shall issue an order notifying the affected party whether or not the immediate suspension should be continued or reinstated. The order shall state the basis of the Comptroller's decision.

§19.244   Automatic removal, suspension, and debarment.

(a) An independent public accountant or accounting firm may not perform audit services for insured national banks if the accountant or firm:

(1) Is subject to a final order of removal, suspension, or debarment (other than a limited scope order) issued by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, or the Office of Thrift Supervision under section 36 of the FDIA.

(2) Is subject to a temporary suspension or permanent revocation of registration or a temporary or permanent suspension or bar from further association with any registered public accounting firm issued by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board or the Securities and Exchange Commission under sections 105(c)(4)(A) or (B) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7215(c)(4)(A) or (B)); or

(3) Is subject to an order of suspension or denial of the privilege of appearing or practicing before the Securities and Exchange Commission.

(b) Upon written request, the Comptroller, for good cause shown, may grant written permission to such accountant or firm to perform audit services for national banks. The request shall contain a concise statement of the action requested. The Comptroller may require the applicant to submit additional information.

§19.245   Notice of removal, suspension or debarment.

(a) Notice to the public. Upon the issuance of a final order for removal, suspension, or debarment of an independent public accountant or accounting firm from providing audit services, the Comptroller shall make the order publicly available and provide notice of the order to the other Federal banking agencies.

(b) Notice to the Comptroller by accountants and firms. An accountant or accounting firm that provides audit services to a national bank must provide the Comptroller with written notice of:

(1) Any currently effective order or other action described in §19.243(a)(1)(vi) through (a)(1)(vii) or §19.244(a)(2) through (a)(3); and

(2) Any currently effective action by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board under sections 105(c)(4)(C) or (G) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act) (15 U.S.C. 7215(c)(4)(C) or (G)).

(c) Timing of notice. Written notice required by this paragraph shall be given no later than 15 calendar days following the effective date of an order or action, or 15 calendar days before an accountant or firm accepts an engagement to provide audit services, whichever date is earlier.

§19.246   Petition for reinstatement.

(a) Form of petition. Unless otherwise ordered by the Comptroller, a petition for reinstatement by an independent public accountant, an accounting firm, or an office of a firm that was removed, suspended, or debarred under §19.243 may be made in writing at any time. The request shall contain a concise statement of the action requested. The Comptroller may require the applicant to submit additional information.

(b) Procedure. A petitioner for reinstatement under this section may, in the sole discretion of the Comptroller, be afforded a hearing. The accountant or firm shall bear the burden of going forward with a petition and proving the grounds asserted in support of the petition. In reinstatement proceedings, the person seeking reinstatement shall bear the burden of going forward with an application and proving the grounds asserted in support of the application. The Comptroller may, in his sole discretion, direct that any reinstatement proceeding be limited to written submissions. The removal, suspension, or debarment shall continue until the Comptroller, for good cause shown, has reinstated the petitioner or until the suspension period has expired. The filing of a petition for reinstatement shall not stay the effectiveness of the removal, suspension, or debarment of an accountant or firm.



For questions or comments regarding e-CFR editorial content, features, or design, email ecfr@nara.gov.
For questions concerning e-CFR programming and delivery issues, email webteam@gpo.gov.