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How can I participate in the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) licensing process?

The OCC offers the public an opportunity to participate in the OCC's licensing process. The most common way to participate is through the public comment process.

Entities making certain applications to the OCC must publish notices. Specifically, applicants must publish notice for the following types of filings:

  • Organizing a bank (other than conversions from another type of depository institution to a bank), such as through bank charter applications
  • Business combinations, including bank merger applications
  • Establishment of domestic branches
  • Relocation of a national bank's main office, a federal savings association's home office, or branches of either
  • Changes in bank control

Applicants publish notices in local newspapers in the communities in which the bank proposes to engage in business. These notices alert community members

  • that the bank has filed a licensing application with the OCC.
  • that the public may comment to the OCC.
  • of the closing date of the comment period, which usually ends 30 days from the date of the public notice.
  • of the appropriate OCC office address where comments should be sent.

The OCC considers comments it receives within the comment period. When evaluating public comments associated with bank mergers and other business combinations, the OCC considers the information provided by the commenter and information provided by the applicant, as well as information available through the course of the OCC's supervision.

You may request a copy of the public portion of the filing submitted to the OCC. The OCC also will consider requests that the OCC

  • extend the comment period.
  • conduct a public hearing.
  • arrange a public meeting.
  • arrange a private meeting between. you and the OCC, with or without the applicant present.
  • arrange a meeting between the commenter and the applicant without the OCC present.

You can get more detailed information about the licensing process in the "Public Notice and Comments" booklet of the Comptroller's Licensing Manual.

Last Reviewed: April 2021

Please note: The terms "bank" and "banks" used in these answers generally refer to national banks, federal savings associations, and federal branches or agencies of foreign banking organizations that are regulated by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). Find out if the OCC regulates your bank. Information provided on should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion of the OCC.

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