On July 31, 2019, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (the “OCC“) released OCC Bulletin 2019-40 (the “Bulletin”) detailing guidelines for national banks, federal savings associations and federal branches of foreign banking organizations subject to the Community Reinvestment Act (the “CRA”) requesting designation as a wholesale or limited purpose bank under the CRA or otherwise requesting confirmation as a special purpose bank pursuant to CRA regulations.

Among other things, the Bulletin details the information requirements necessary for a bank to substantiate its designation or exemption request, instructions on how to submit requests and an overview of the OCC’s review and approval processes for each designation or exemption category. It also provides guidance on how banks may request confidential treatment of certain information submitted pursuant to a designation or exemption request that might otherwise be subject to the Freedom of Information Act request.

The Bulletin rescinds and replaces an attachment to OCC Bulletin 1996-11 entitled “Community Reinvestment Act: Guidelines for Requesting Designation as a Wholesale or Limited-Purpose Institution.”