ICBA has written to each U.S. senator urging that they reject resolutions proposed by Sen. John Edwards (D-NC) that would overturn recently adopted OCC rules providing that the National Bank Act, not state law, governs many of the activities of national banks. The Resolutions of Disapproval address two separate rules. One preempts a number of state laws and the other provides that the OCC has exclusive examination authority over national banks and their subsidiaries.
The letter notes that "ICBA did not support adoption of these regulations when proposed; we recommended instead that the OCC continue its prior practice of pre-empting state laws on a case-by-case basis." Nevertheless, the proposed resolutions are "deeply troubling" for several reasons:
- "ICBA has supported and continues to support preemption in many individual cases considered by OCC and the courts. These long-standing agency and court decisions could be called into serious question if Congress passes the resolutions under the Review Act."
- "Congressional enactment of the resolutions could chill additional case-by-case preemption by federal banking agencies." For example, new state consumer protection laws "increase banks' regulatory burden and have negative unintended consequences for bank customers."
Instead of taking hasty action on the Edwards resolution, the letter recommends that the Senate Banking Committee continue its oversight of the OCC regulations. ICBA's letter can be found at www.icba.org. Please contact your senator and urge them to oppose the Edwards resolutions.