2012 Bank Enforcement Actions Still High, But Significantly Lower Than 2010-11

Originally published in BNA’s Banking Report, 100 BBR 617 on 04/02/2013.

Overall Trends & Outlook -

In 2012, the federal banking agencies, including the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (‘‘FDIC’’), Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (‘‘OCC’’), Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (‘‘Bureau’’) and Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (‘‘Board’’), issued over 800 formal enforcement actions. While this continues to be extremely high compared to levels over the last 30 years, it was a significant decrease in enforcement activity from the over 1200 and 1500 formal enforcement actions issued in 2011 and 2010, respectively. Notably, these numbers do not include the thousands of informal actions that have been issued during these years which are not required to be made public.

This decrease in enforcement activity is consistent with the slow but steady recovery from the financial crisis that the economy is experiencing. Notably, while the total number of enforcement actions declined in 2012, it is still a relatively large number of actions to be brought in a year3, and the size of penalties enforced against institutions, particularly civil money penalties, continues to increase.

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