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Consumer Complaints and Assistance

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    The OCC’s Customer Assistance Group is ready to help customers of national banks with questions or complaints they have about their financial institution. CAG’s toll-free lines are open Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Central Time, and on Friday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., CT. You can reach one of OCC’s Customer Assistance Specialists by calling: 1-800-613-6743. Below, you will find a set of questions and answers with information that should prove useful if you have a problem that requires assistance from the OCC.

    Who is the OCC?

    The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) is an agency of the United States Department of the Treasury. The OCC charters, regulates, and supervises over 2,500 national banks and their operating subsidiaries to ensure a safe, sound and competitive national banking system that supports the citizens, communities and economy of the United States. The Comptroller's Office also supervises federally licensed branches and agencies of foreign banks. The national banks fund the agency through assessments paid by the banks based on their assets and fees they pay for special services.

    What Is a National Bank?

    A national bank is a financial institution chartered by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. National banks can usually be identified because they have the words "national" or "national association" in their titles or the letters N.A. or NT&SA following their titles. National banks represent about 28 percent of all insured commercial banks in the United States, holding 57 percent of the total assets of the banking system.

    What Is an Operating Subsidiary of a National Bank?

    National banks conduct some of their banking activities through companies called operating subsidiaries. These subsidiaries are non-bank companies that are owned by a national bank and that, among other things, offer such banking products and services to consumers as loans, mortgages and leases. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency licenses and supervises these operating subsidiaries even though they are not banks.

    If You Have a Problem With a National Bank or its Operating Subsidiary

    The OCC Customer Assistance Group (CAG)

    The OCC Customer Assistance Group was created to answer questions, offer guidance, and assist consumers in resolving complaints about national banks and their subsidiaries.

    The first step is to try to resolve a complaint directly with your bank or its operating subsidiary before involving an outside agency. If you are unable to do so or are uncertain about whether your complaint falls under our jurisdiction, the OCC Customer Assistance Group will try to assist.

    General inquiries about banking laws or practices often can be answered on the phone or through email by a Customer Assistance Specialist. The specialist may also be able to suggest other ways for you to try to resolve your problem directly with the bank or its subsidiary.

    Contacting a Customer Assistance Specialist

    You can reach one of the OCC Customer Assistance Specialists by calling our toll free number, 1-800-613-6743, Monday - Thursday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and Friday 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Central Time or sending an email to Customer.Assistance@occ.treas.gov.

    Please be reminded that e-mail is not necessarily secure against interception. Please do not include sensitive information of a personal or confidential nature - such as your bank account, credit card, or social security number.

    Filing a Formal Complaint

    There are two ways you can file a formal written complaint with the OCC about a national bank or its operating subsidiary. You may mail or fax a letter - no special forms are required - to the Customer Assistance Group at the following:

    Customer Assistance Group
    1301 McKinney Street
    Suite 3450
    Houston, TX 77010
    FAX: 713-336-4301

    Your letter or fax should identify the national bank or subsidiary about which you have the complaint by providing the bank's (or subsidiary's) full name and address. Additionally, the following information is required:

    • Your complete name and mailing address as used by the bank;
    • Your daytime telephone number;
    • Your account number(s);
    • A detailed explanation of the complaint or inquiry and description of how you would like the matter resolved;
    • The signature of the account holder, legal guardian, Power of Attorney, or other person authorized to act for the account holder. If you are not the account holder, you must include documentation indicating your authority; and
    • Documentation supporting your position.

    The OCC's Complaint Process

    When we receive your call about a complaint, a Customer Assistance Specialist will request certain information from you about the issues. He or she will evaluate your information and attempt to resolve your questions while on the phone. Should the specialist not be able to resolve your complaint immediately, he or she may request that you submit a formal written complaint or inquiry. The specialist will assign you a case number and explain exactly what we need you to provide. 

    When we receive your written complaint or additional documentation that was requested by one of our Customer Assistance Specialists, we will send to you an acknowledgment letter and assign a case number if one was not previously provided. The specialist will research your complaint and contact the bank for a response. The OCC will notify you after the bank or subsidiary responds. Complaints caused by bank error or misunderstanding are often resolved voluntarily by the bank or its subsidiary.

    When You Need Other Help

    Many complaints stem from factual or contract disputes between the bank and the customer. Only a court of law can resolve those disputes and award damages. If we find that your case involves such a dispute, we will suggest that you consult an attorney for assistance.

    The OCC regulates only national banks and their operating subsidiaries, not all types of financial institutions. If your complaint involves a bank or other institution not regulated by the OCC, we will refer it to another agency. We will notify you if we do so. You should not have to resubmit your complaint or accompanying documentation. However, you may be contacted if the other agency needs additional information.

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