12 U.S.C.
United States Code, 2011 Edition
Title 12 - BANKS AND BANKING
CHAPTER 3 - FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM
SUBCHAPTER XV - BANK EXAMINATIONS
From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov

SUBCHAPTER XV—BANK EXAMINATIONS

§481. Appointment of examiners; examination of member banks, State banks, and trust companies; reports

The Comptroller of the Currency, with the approval of the Secretary of the Treasury, shall appoint examiners who shall examine every national bank as often as the Comptroller of the Currency shall deem necessary. The examiner making the examination of any national bank shall have power to make a thorough examination of all the affairs of the bank and in doing so he shall have power to administer oaths and to examine any of the officers and agents thereof under oath and shall make a full and detailed report of the condition of said bank to the Comptroller of the Currency: Provided, That in making the examination of any national bank the examiners shall include such an examination of the affairs of all its affiliates other than member banks as shall be necessary to disclose fully the relations between such bank and such affiliates and the effect of such relations upon the affairs of such bank; and in the event of the refusal to give any information required in the course of the examination of any such affiliate, or in the event of the refusal to permit such examination, all the rights, privileges, and franchises of the bank shall be subject to forfeiture in accordance with section 2 of the Federal Reserve Act, as amended (U.S.C., title 12, secs. 141, 222–225, 281–286, and 502).1 The Comptroller of the Currency shall have power, and he is authorized, to publish the report of his examination of any national banking association or affiliate which shall not within one hundred and twenty days after notification of the recommendations or suggestions of the Comptroller, based on said examination, have complied with the same to his satisfaction. Ninety days’ notice prior to such publicity shall be given to the bank or affiliate.

The examiner making the examination of any affiliate of a national bank shall have power to make a thorough examination of all the affairs of the affiliate, and in doing so he shall have power to administer oaths and to examine any of the officers, directors, employees, and agents thereof under oath and to make a report of his findings to the Comptroller of the Currency. If any affiliate of a national bank refuses to pay any assessments, fees, or other charges imposed by the Comptroller of the Currency pursuant to this subchapter or fails to make such payment not later than 60 days after the date on which they are imposed, the Comptroller of the Currency may impose such assessments, fees, or charges against the affiliated national bank, and such assessments, fees, or charges shall be paid by such national bank. If the affiliation is with 2 or more national banks, such assessments, fees, or charges may be imposed on, and collected from, any or all of such national banks in such proportions as the Comptroller of the Currency may prescribe. The examiners and assistant examiners making the examinations of national banking associations and affiliates thereof herein provided for and the chief examiners, reviewing examiners and other persons whose services may be required in connection with such examinations or the reports thereof, shall be employed by the Comptroller of the Currency with the approval of the Secretary of the Treasury; the employment and compensation of examiners, chief examiners, reviewing examiners, assistant examiners, and of the other employees of the office of the Comptroller of the Currency whose compensation is and shall be paid from assessments on banks or affiliates thereof or from other fees or charges imposed pursuant to this subchapter shall be set and adjusted subject to chapter 71 of title 5 and without regard to the provisions of other laws applicable to officers or employees of the United States. The funds derived from such assessments, fees, or charges may be deposited by the Comptroller of the Currency in accordance with the provisions of section 192 of this title and shall not be construed to be Government funds or appropriated monies; and the Comptroller of the Currency is authorized and empowered to prescribe regulations governing the computation and assessment of the expenses of examinations herein provided for and the collection of such assessments from the banks and/or affiliates examined or of other fees or charges imposed pursuant to this subchapter. Such funds shall not be subject to apportionment for the purpose of chapter 15 of title 31 or under any other authority. If any affiliate of a national bank shall refuse to permit an examiner to make an examination of the affiliate or shall refuse to give any information required in the course of any such examination, the national bank with which it is affiliated shall be subject to a penalty of not more than $5,000 for each day that any such refusal shall continue. Such penalty may be assessed by the Comptroller of the Currency and collected in the same manner as expenses of examinations. The Comptroller of the Currency, upon the request of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, is authorized to assign examiners appointed under this subchapter to examine foreign operations of State banks which are members of the Federal Reserve System.

(R.S. §5240 (pars.); Feb. 19, 1875, ch. 89, 18 Stat. 329; Dec. 23, 1913, ch. 6, §21, 38 Stat. 271; June 16, 1933, ch. 89, §28, 48 Stat. 192; Aug. 23, 1935, ch. 614, title II, §203(a), title III, §343, 49 Stat. 704, 722; June 30, 1948, ch. 762, §1, 62 Stat. 1163; Apr. 30, 1956, ch. 228, §1, 70 Stat. 124; Pub. L. 96–221, title VII, §709, Mar. 31, 1980, 94 Stat. 188; Pub. L. 100–86, title V, §505(b), Aug. 10, 1987, 101 Stat. 633; Pub. L. 101–73, title IX, §907(f), Aug. 9, 1989, 103 Stat. 470; Pub. L. 102–242, title I, §114(b), Dec. 19, 1991, 105 Stat. 2248; Pub. L. 111–203, title III, §318(a)(1), July 21, 2010, 124 Stat. 1526.)

References in Text

Section 2 of the Federal Reserve Act, referred to in first par., is section 2 of act Dec. 23, 1913, ch. 6, 38 Stat. 251, which is classified to former section 141, sections 222 to 225 and 281 to 283, former section 284, and sections 285, 286, 501a, and 502 of this title. See Codification note set out under section 222 of this title.

This subchapter, referred to in second par., was in the original a reference to this section, meaning section 5240 of the Revised Statutes.

Codification

R.S. §5240 derived from act June 3, 1864, ch. 106, §54, 13 Stat. 116, which was part of the National Bank Act. See section 38 of this title.

R.S. §5240, as amended by acts Dec. 23, 1913, July 2, 1932, June 16, 1933, Pub. L. 101–73, and Pub. L. 102–242, is comprised of 7 undesignated paragraphs. Pars. 1 and 2 are classified to section 481 of this title, pars. 3 and 4 are classified to section 482 of this title, and pars. 5 to 7 are classified to sections 483 to 485, respectively, of this title.

Amendments

2010—Pub. L. 111–203, in fourth sentence of second par., substituted “set and adjusted subject to chapter 71 of title 5 and without regard to the provisions of other laws applicable to officers or employees of the United States” for “without regard to the provisions of other laws applicable to officers or employees of the United States”.

1991—Pub. L. 102–242, in second par., inserted second and third sentences and struck out former second and third sentences which read as follows: “The expense of examinations of such affiliates may be assessed by the Comptroller of the Currency upon the affiliates examined in proportion to assets or resources held by the affiliates upon the dates of examination of the various affiliates. If any such affiliate shall refuse to pay such expenses or shall fail to do so within sixty days after the date of such assessment, then such expenses may be assessed against the affiliated national bank and, when so assessed, shall be paid by such national bank: Provided, however, That, if the affiliation is with two or more national banks, such expenses may be assessed against, and collected from, any or all of such national banks in such proportions as the Comptroller of the Currency may prescribe.”, in fourth sentence, inserted “or from other fees or charges imposed pursuant to this subchapter” after “assessments on banks or affiliates thereof”, and in fifth sentence, inserted “, fees, or charges” before “may be deposited” and “or of other fees or charges imposed pursuant to this subchapter” before period.

1989—Pub. L. 101–73, in second par., increased the penalty for refusal to allow the examination from $100 to $5,000.

1987—Pub. L. 100–86 inserted after fifth sentence of second par. “Such funds shall not be subject to apportionment for the purpose of chapter 15 of title 31 or under any other authority.”

1980—Pub. L. 96–221 inserted provisions relating to examination of foreign operations of State banks which are members of the Federal Reserve System, and substituted provisions authorizing examinations as often as the Comptroller deems necessary, for provisions requiring examinations twice in every calendar year, and provisions authorizing the Comptroller to waive one examination or require additional examinations.

1956—Act Apr. 30, 1956, allowed Comptroller to waive 1 of the 2 examinations required each year, but not more than one waiver every two years.

1948—Act June 30, 1948, struck out in first sentence after first proviso of second par. “, including retirement annuities to be fixed by the Comptroller of the Currency,”.

1935—Act Aug. 23, 1935, §343, substituted in first sentence after first proviso of second par. “including retirement annuities to be fixed by the Comptroller of the Currency, is and shall be” for “is”.

1933—Act June 16, 1933, inserted proviso and last two sentences at end of first par. and added second par.

Change of Name

Section 203(a) of act Aug. 23, 1935, changed name of Federal Reserve Board to Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

Effective Date of 2010 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 111–203 effective on the transfer date, see section 318(e) of Pub. L. 111–203, set out as an Effective Date note under section 16 of this title.

Effective Date of 1989 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 101–73 applicable to conduct engaged in after Aug. 9, 1989, except that increased maximum penalties of $5,000 and $25,000 may apply to conduct engaged in before such date if such conduct is not already subject to a notice issued by the appropriate agency and occurred after completion of the last report of the examination of the institution by the appropriate agency occurring before Aug. 9, 1989, see section 907(l) of Pub. L. 101–73, set out as a note under section 93 of this title.

Effective Date of 1948 Amendment

Amendment by act June 30, 1948, effective on first day of first pay period beginning at least 30 days after June 30, 1948, see section 5 of that act.

Exception as to Transfer of Functions

Functions vested by any provision of law in Comptroller of the Currency, referred to in this section, not included in transfer of functions to Secretary of the Treasury, see note set out under section 1 of this title.

1 See References in Text note below.

§482. Employees of Office of Comptroller of the Currency; appointment; compensation and benefits

Notwithstanding any of the provisions of section 481 of this title or section 301(f)(1) of title 31 to the contrary, the Comptroller of the Currency shall, subject to chapter 71 of title 5, fix the compensation and number of, and appoint and direct, all employees of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Rates of basic pay for all employees of the Office may be set and adjusted by the Comptroller without regard to the provisions of chapter 51 or subchapter III of chapter 53 of title 5. The Comptroller may provide additional compensation and benefits to employees of the Office if the same type of compensation or benefits are then being provided by any other Federal bank regulatory agency or, if not then being provided, could be provided by such an agency under applicable provisions of law, rule, or regulation. In setting and adjusting the total amount of compensation and benefits for employees of the Office, the Comptroller shall consult with, and seek to maintain comparability with, other Federal banking agencies.

The Comptroller of the Currency may impose and collect assessments, fees, or other charges as necessary or appropriate to carry out the responsibilities of the office 1 of the Comptroller. Such assessments, fees, and other charges shall be set to meet the Comptroller's expenses in carrying out authorized activities.

(R.S. §5240 (pars.); Feb. 19, 1875, ch. 89, 18 Stat. 329; Dec. 23, 1913, ch. 6, §21, 38 Stat. 272; July 2, 1932, ch. 392, 47 Stat. 568; Aug. 23, 1935, ch. 614, title III, §343, 49 Stat. 722; Apr. 30, 1956, ch. 228, §§2, 3, 70 Stat. 124; Pub. L. 101–73, title XII, §1202, Aug. 9, 1989, 103 Stat. 520; Pub. L. 102–242, title I, §114(a), Dec. 19, 1991, 105 Stat. 2248; Pub. L. 102–550, title XVI, §1603(b)(5), Oct. 28, 1992, 106 Stat. 4079; Pub. L. 103–325, title III, §331(b)(1), Sept. 23, 1994, 108 Stat. 2232; Pub. L. 111–203, title III, §318(a)(2), July 21, 2010, 124 Stat. 1526.)

References in Text

Provisions of section 481 of this title, referred to in first par., was in the original “preceding provisions of this section”, meaning R.S. §5240. See Codification note set out below.

Codification

R.S. §5240 derived from act June 3, 1864, ch. 106, §54, 13 Stat. 116, which was part of the National Bank Act. See section 38 of this title.

Section is comprised of third and fourth pars. of R.S. §5240, as amended. The former fifth par. of R.S. §5440, which comprised the third par. of this section, was repealed by Pub. L. 102–242. See Codification note set out under section 481 of this title.

Amendments

2010—Pub. L. 111–203, in first sentence of first par., substituted “shall, subject to chapter 71 of title 5, fix” for “shall fix”.

1994—Pub. L. 103–325 inserted “or section 301(f)(1) of title 31” after “provisions of section 481 of this title”.

1992—Pub. L. 102–550 substituted “office” for “duties” in second par.

1991—Pub. L. 102–242 added second par. and struck out former second and third pars. which read as follows:

“The expense of the examinations provided for in this subchapter shall be assessed by the Comptroller of the Currency upon national banks in proportion to their assets or resources. The assessments may be made more frequently than annually at the discretion of the Comptroller of the Currency. The annual rate of such assessment shall be the same for all national banks, except that banks examined more frequently than twice in one calendar year shall, in addition, be assessed the expense of these additional examinations.

“In addition to the expense of examination to be assessed by the Comptroller of the Currency as heretofore provided, all national banks exercising fiduciary powers and all banks or trust companies in the District of Columbia exercising fiduciary powers shall be assessed by the Comptroller of the Currency for the examination of their fiduciary activities a fee adequate to cover the expense thereof.”

1989—Pub. L. 101–73, in first paragraph, substituted “Notwithstanding any of the provisions of section 481 of this title to the contrary, the Comptroller of the Currency shall fix the compensation and number of, and appoint and direct, all employees of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Rates of basic pay for all employees of the Office may be set and adjusted by the Comptroller without regard to the provisions of chapter 51 or subchapter III of chapter 53 of title 5. The Comptroller may provide additional compensation and benefits to employees of the Office if the same type of compensation or benefits are then being provided by any other Federal bank regulatory agency or, if not then being provided, could be provided by such an agency under applicable provisions of law, rule, or regulation. In setting and adjusting the total amount of compensation and benefits for employees of the Office, the Comptroller shall consult with, and seek to maintain comparability with, other Federal banking agencies.” for “The Comptroller of the Currency shall fix the salaries of all bank examiners and make report thereof to Congress.” and redesignated remaining sentences of first paragraph as a second paragraph. Former second paragraph became third paragraph.

1956—Act Apr. 30, 1956, provided that assessments may be made more frequently than annually and the annual rate of such assessment shall be the same for all national banks except that banks examined more than twice in one year shall be assessed the expense of the additional examinations, and based additional charges for examining all national banks exercising fiduciary powers and all banks or trust companies in the District of Columbia exercising fiduciary powers on the cost of making the examination rather than the amount of trust assets under administration.

1935—Act Aug. 23, 1935, substituted in first sentence “The Comptroller of the Currency” for “The Federal Reserve Board, upon the recommendation of the Comptroller of the Currency”.

1932—Act July 2, 1932, added last par.

Effective Date of 2010 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 111–203 effective on the transfer date, see section 318(e) of Pub. L. 111–203, set out as an Effective Date note under section 16 of this title.

Effective Date of 1992 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 102–550 effective as if included in the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Improvement Act of 1991, Pub. L. 102–242, as of Dec. 19, 1991, see section 1609(a) of Pub. L. 102–550, set out as a note under section 191 of this title.

Exception as to Transfer of Functions

Functions vested by any provision of law in Comptroller of the Currency, referred to in this section, not included in transfer of functions to Secretary of the Treasury, see note set out under section 1 of this title.

1 So in original. Probably should be capitalized.

§483. Special examination of member banks; information of condition furnished to Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

In addition to the examinations made and conducted by the Comptroller of the Currency, every Federal reserve bank may, with the approval of the Federal reserve agent or the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, provide for special examination of member banks within its district. The expense of such examinations may, in the discretion of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, be assessed against the banks examined, and, when so assessed, shall be paid by the banks examined. Such examinations shall be so conducted as to inform the Federal reserve bank of the condition of its member banks and of the lines of credit which are being extended by them. Every Federal reserve bank shall at all times furnish to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System such information as may be demanded concerning the condition of any member bank within the district of the said Federal reserve bank.

(R.S. §5240 (par.); Feb. 19, 1875, ch. 89, 18 Stat. 329; Dec. 23, 1913, ch. 6, §21, 38 Stat. 272; June 26, 1930, ch. 611, §2, 46 Stat. 814; Aug. 23, 1935, ch. 614, title II, §203(a), 49 Stat. 704.)

Codification

R.S. §5240 derived from act June 3, 1864, ch. 106, §54, 13 Stat. 116, which was part of the National Bank Act. See section 38 of this title.

Section is comprised of fifth par. of R.S. §5240, as amended. See Codification note set out under section 481 of this title.

Amendments

1930—Act June 26, 1930, substituted second sentence “The expense of such examinations may, in the discretion of the Federal Reserve Board, be assessed against the banks examined, and, when so assessed, shall be paid by the banks examined.” for “The expense of such examinations shall be borne by the bank examined.”

Change of Name

Section 203(a) of act Aug. 23, 1935, changed name of Federal Reserve Board to Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

Exception as to Transfer of Functions

Functions vested by any provision of law in Comptroller of the Currency, referred to in this section, not included in transfer of functions to Secretary of the Treasury, see note set out under section 1 of this title.

§484. Limitation on visitorial powers

(a) No national bank shall be subject to any visitorial powers except as authorized by Federal law, vested in the courts of justice or such as shall be, or have been exercised or directed by Congress or by either House thereof or by any committee of Congress or of either House duly authorized.

(b) Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, lawfully authorized State auditors and examiners may, at reasonable times and upon reasonable notice to a bank, review its records solely to ensure compliance with applicable State unclaimed property or escheat laws upon reasonable cause to believe that the bank has failed to comply with such laws.

(R.S. §5240 (par.); Feb. 19, 1875, ch. 89, 18 Stat. 329; Dec. 23, 1913, ch. 6, §21, 38 Stat. 272; Pub. L. 97–320, title IV, §412, Oct. 15, 1982, 96 Stat. 1521; Pub. L. 97–457, §23(a), Jan. 12, 1983, 96 Stat. 2510.)

Codification

R.S. §5240 derived from act June 3, 1864, ch. 106, §54, 13 Stat. 116, which was part of the National Bank Act. See section 38 of this title.

Section is comprised of sixth par. of R.S. §5240, as amended. See Codification note set out under section 481 of this title.

Section 412 of Pub. L. 97–320, set out in the credit of this section, was amended by section 23(a) of Pub. L. 97–457 to correct an error in the directory language of section 412 of Pub. L. 97–320. That amendment involved only directory language and not the content of the text being amended by Pub. L. 97–320 so no change in the text of this section resulted from the amendment by Pub. L. 97–457.

Amendments

1982—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 97–320, as amended by Pub. L. 97–457, designated existing provisions as subsec. (a), and amended subsec. (a) generally. Prior to amendment subsec. (a) read as follows: “No bank shall be subject to any visitorial powers other than such as are authorized by law, or vested in the courts of justice or such as shall be or shall have been exercised or directed by Congress, or by either House thereof or by any committee of Congress or of either House duly authorized”.

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 97–320, as amended by Pub. L. 97–457, added subsec. (b).

Effective Date of 1983 Amendment

Section 23(b) of Pub. L. 97–457 provided that: “The amendment made by subsection (a) [amending section 412 of Pub. L. 97–320, which amended this section] shall be deemed to have taken effect upon the enactment of Public Law 97–320 [Oct. 15, 1982].”

§485. Examination of Federal reserve banks

The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System shall, at least once each year, order an examination of each Federal reserve bank, and upon joint application of ten member banks the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System shall order a special examination and report of the condition of any Federal reserve bank.

(R.S. §5240 (par.); Feb. 19, 1875, ch. 89, 18 Stat. 329; Dec. 23, 1913, ch. 6, §21, 38 Stat. 272; Aug. 23, 1935, ch. 614, title II, §203(a), 49 Stat. 704.)

Codification

R.S. §5240 derived from act June 3, 1864, ch. 106, §54, 13 Stat. 116, which was part of the National Bank Act. See section 38 of this title.

Section is comprised of seventh par. of R.S. §5240, as amended. See Codification note set out under section 481 of this title.

Change of Name

Section 203(a) of act Aug. 23, 1935, changed name of Federal Reserve Board to Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

§486. Waiver of requirements as to reports from or examinations of affiliates

Whenever member banks are required to obtain reports from affiliates, or whenever affiliates of member banks are required to submit to examination, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System or the Comptroller of the Currency, as the case may be, may waive such requirements with respect to any such report or examination of any affiliate if in the judgment of the said Board or Comptroller, respectively, such report or examination is not necessary to disclose fully the relations between such affiliate and such bank and the effect thereof upon the affairs of such bank.

(Dec. 23, 1913, ch. 6, §21 (par.), as added Aug. 23, 1935, ch. 614, title III, §325, 49 Stat. 715.)

Codification

This section was not enacted as part of R.S. §5240 which comprises this subchapter. Act Dec. 23, 1913, derived from R.S. §5240.

Exception as to Transfer of Functions

Functions vested by any provision of law in Comptroller of the Currency, referred to in this section, not included in transfer of functions to Secretary of the Treasury, see note set out under section 1 of this title.