March 23, 2018 

AmosWEB means Economics with a Touch of Whimsy!

AmosWEBWEB*pediaGLOSS*aramaECON*worldCLASS*portalQUIZ*tasticPED GuideXtra CrediteTutorA*PLS
INDIRECT: The mathematical notion that two variables change in the opposite directions, that is, an increase in X goes with a decrease in Y, or a decrease in X goes with an increase in Y. The alternative to an indirect relation is a direct relation, in which an increase in one variable goes with an increase in the other. Indirect relations are graphically illustrated by negatively-sloped curves, a common example being the demand curve.

Visit the GLOSS*arama


An agency of the U.S. Federal government responsible for chartering national banks. In other words, anyone wanting to establish a bank with the word "national" in the title must gain permission from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). The Comptroller is also responsible for regulating banks and might even assume control of a bank that is in serious trouble (that is, on the verge of failure). Although the term "currency" appears in the title, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is primarily a bank regulator and has almost nothing to do with the nation's "currency." The OCC was established in 1863 as a bureau of the U.S. Department of the Treasury and is located in Washington, D.C.
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) is managed by the Comptroller, who is appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate for a five-year term. The Comptroller also serves as a director for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

A Bit of History

  • The impetus for the Comptroller of the Currency came about when the Secretary of the Treasury recommended the establishment of a system of federally chartered national banks in 1861.

  • The National Currency Act, passed in 1863 and signed by President Abraham Lincoln, established the OCC as a bureau of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

  • The main goal of the new agency was to ensure that each bank would have the power to issue standardized national bank notes based on United States bonds held by the bank (national banks no longer issue currency).

  • The law was completely rewritten and re-enacted as the National Bank Act in 1864. The act also gave the Comptroller authority to regulate lending and investment activities of national banks.


As an independent agency, the OCC does not receive funds from the government. The OCC is funded primarily by assessments on national banks. That is, national banks pay for their examinations and for OCC processing of corporate applications. The OCC also receives revenue from investment income, primarily from ownership of U.S. Treasury securities.

Main Activities

The chief responsibilities of the OCC are:
  • First, it charters, regulates, and supervises all national banks.

  • Second, it supervises the federal branches and agencies of foreign banks.

  • Third, it supervises the international activities of national banks through an office in London.

The Power of the OCC

The OCC is a powerful government agency when it comes to the banking business. The OCC issues rules, legal interpretations, and corporate decisions concerning banking, bank investments, bank community development activities, and other aspects of bank operations. In particular, the OCC can:
  • Examine the financial structure, balance, sheets, income statements, and overall operation of banks.

  • Approve or deny applications for new charters, branches, capital, or other changes in the corporate or banking structure.

  • Take supervisory actions against banks that do not comply with laws and regulations.

  • Remove officers and directors, negotiate agreements to change banking practices, and issue cease and desist orders as well as impose civil monetary penalties.

  • Issue rules and regulations governing bank investments, lending, and other practices.


Recommended Citation:

COMPTROLLER OF THE CURRENCY, AmosWEB Encyclonomic WEB*pedia,, AmosWEB LLC, 2000-2018. [Accessed: March 23, 2018].

Check Out These Related Terms...

     | Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation | financial markets |

Or For A Little Background...

     | macroeconomic goals | inflation | circular flow |

And For Further Study...

     | paper economy | Congressional Budget Office | Internal Revenue Service | government functions | investment borrowing | two-sector, three-market circular flow |

Related Websites (Will Open in New Window)...

     | Comptroller of the Currency | Office of Management and Budget | Federal Deposit Insurance | Internal Revenue Service |

Search Again?

Back to the WEB*pedia


[What's This?]

Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time at a crowded estate auction hoping to buy either a coffee cup commemorating last Friday (you know why) or a wall poster commemorating the first day of spring. Be on the lookout for small children selling products door-to-door.
Your Complete Scope

This isn't me! What am I?

A lump of pure gold the size of a matchbox can be flattened into a sheet the size of a tennis court!
"It is not the straining for great things that is most effective; it is the doing of the little things, the common duties, a little better and better."

-- Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, Writer

Ordinary Least Squares
A PEDestrian's Guide
Xtra Credit
Tell us what you think about AmosWEB. Like what you see? Have suggestions for improvements? Let us know. Click the User Feedback link.

User Feedback

| AmosWEB | WEB*pedia | GLOSS*arama | ECON*world | CLASS*portal | QUIZ*tastic | PED Guide | Xtra Credit | eTutor | A*PLS |
| About Us | Terms of Use | Privacy Statement |

Thanks for visiting AmosWEB
Copyright ©2000-2018 AmosWEB*LLC
Send comments or questions to: WebMaster