• New Federal Preemption Regulations Level the Playing Field for National Banks
  • January 23, 2004 | Author: Jonathan L. Levin
  • Law Firm: Reed Smith LLP - Philadelphia Office
  • In a bold stroke of the regulatory pen, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency ("OCC") has given national banks genuine reason to celebrate the new year. On January 13, 2004, the OCC published final regulations that clarify and confirm that federal law largely preempts state law in governing the banking activities of national banks and their operating subsidiaries. The new regulations, which take effect on February 12, 2004, are designed to put national banks and their operating subsidiaries on a par with federal savings associations and their subsidiaries, which have enjoyed broad preemption authority for many decades. Actually, there are two distinct regulations, one addressing preemption and another addressing the "visitorial powers" of the OCC.