Office of the Comptroller of the Currency Issues True Lender Rule

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News Release 2020-139 | October 27, 2020

WASHINGTON—The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) today issued a rule that determines when a national bank or federal savings association (bank) makes a loan and is the “true lender,” including in the context of a partnership between a bank and a third party.

Banks’ lending relationships with third parties can facilitate access to affordable credit. However, increasing legal uncertainty regarding such relationships may discourage banks and third parties from partnering, limit competition, and chill the innovation that results from these partnerships. This may ultimately restrict access to affordable credit.

After carefully considering the comments, the OCC is adopting a final rule to resolve this uncertainty. The rule specifies that a bank makes a loan and is the true lender if, as of the date of origination, it (1) is named as the lender in the loan agreement or (2) funds the loan. The rule also specifies that if, as of the date of origination, one bank is named as the lender in the loan agreement for a loan and another bank funds that loan, the bank that is named as the lender in the loan agreement makes the loan.

The rule also clarifies that as the true lender of a loan, the bank retains the compliance obligations associated with the origination of that loan, thus negating concern regarding harmful rent-a-charter arrangements.

The rule takes effect 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.

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