The federal financial regulatory agencies and the Conference of State Bank Supervisors issued guidance that encourages financial institutions to work with customers and consider measures to assist creditworthy borrowers affected by the BP/Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
The federal financial regulatory agencies include the Federal Reserve, the FDIC, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Office of Thrift Supervision and the National Credit Union Administration.
The regulators suggested that financial institutions consider some of the following alternatives for customers who can demonstrate they are affected by the disaster:
- Temporarily waiving late payment charges, ATM fees, and penalties for early withdrawal of savings;
- Expediting lending decisions when possible, consistent with safety and soundness;
- Extending or restructuring borrower debt obligations in anticipation of the receipt of funds based on claims the borrower may have filed with BP; and
- Easing credit terms or fees for loans to certain borrowers, consistent with prudent banking practice.
The guidance encourages measures that can help customers recover financially and be better positioned to honor their obligations.
The regulators said that, consistent with a long-standing practice of assessing the financial condition of institutions directly affected by natural and other disasters, examiners will consider the unusual circumstances of banks and credit unions in affected areas in determining the appropriate supervisory response to safety-and-soundness issues.
The Interagency Statement on Financial Institutions Affected by the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill is available at tinyurl.com/252lqmk.
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