On November 29, the OCC released a revised Policies and Procedures Manual relating to the assessment of civil money penalties (“CMP Matrix”), which will be effective as of January 1, 2023. The CMP Matrix is a reference guide for the OCC’s decision making process in evaluating penalties in response to violations of laws, regulations, and conditions imposed in writing. It replaces the prior version released in November 2018, and revises or expands certain guidelines, including:

  • increased scoring weight of mitigating factors such as (1) self-identification; (2) remediation or corrective action; and (3) restitution; and
  • adding guidance related to the weighing of unquantifiable public harm
  • identifying the use of business restrictions or other injunctive relief, in addition to CMPs.

“The revised CMP matrix for OCC institutions will strengthen the effectiveness and fairness of our enforcement actions,” Acting Comptroller Michael J. Hsu said. “It will help ensure that the civil money penalty is tailored to the facts and circumstances of each violation, and the updated mitigating factors will help ensure that the underlying problems are resolved in a timely manner.”

Considered a significant update to the CMP Matrix, the release includes an expanded penalty table with additional size ranges. The new matrix also includes additional severity score ranges in the table and increases many of the associated penalty amounts — by double in some instances.

Putting it into Practice: The OCC’s release of a revised CMP Matrix demonstrates the OCC’s intent to do levy CMPs with exactness and consequences that more precisely fit the misconduct. Banks subject to OCC supervision are advised to review the revised Policies and Procedures Manual in advance of the January 1 effective date to understand the refined enforcement tools that the OCC has at its disposal to address violations of law.