Statement: Leading the Pack, OCC Announces Climate Risk Guidance for Banks by Years End

For Immediate Release:

Nov. 3, 2021

Carter Dougherty
(202) 251-6700

Leading the pack, OCC announces climate risk guidance for banks by years end

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Acting Comptroller Michael Hsu announced that the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) plans to develop climate risk supervisory expectations for large banks and issue guidance for comment by the end of the year. Over the past year, Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund and partners have urged the OCC and other banking regulators to take this important initial step immediately. We applaud Acting Comptroller Hsu for his leadership on this issue and we urge the other regulators to follow suit and issue guidance by the end of the year.

“This announcement is a welcome sign that the OCC is prepared to walk the walk, rather than just talk the talk on climate financial regulation,” said Alex Martin, senior policy analyst at Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund. “Supervisory guidance for climate risk is an urgent first step that will promote safety and soundness by ensuring banks begin to measure and mitigate climate risks on their balance sheets. The supervision and examination process will also generate data and insights regarding the overall vulnerability of the banking system, where climate risk is growing, and how to mitigate it through further targeted regulation. This announcement also prompts the question: why is this not also moving forward at the Fed and the FDIC? The Fed and the FDIC must take similar action, and all the financial regulators need to move quickly on additional measures like scenario analysis, stress testing, and enhanced capital requirements for risky assets.”