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The Comptroller's Manual was prepared by the Comptroller of the Currency for his use in the supervision of National Banks. Except for the text of the statutes and regulations contained herein, it must not be reproduced in whole or in any substantial part. Copies may be obtained from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Washington, D.C. 20220. FOREWORD
This Manual reflects the continuing results of some five years of endeavor to transform the regulation of National Banks into a responsive and meaningful instrument of public policy. We began our task after several decades in which little had been done to adapt public policies and banking practices to the changing needs and requirements of our vigorously expanding economy.
Our first step was to awaken the interest of the banks and to probe their experience in a search to identify the shortcomings both of our own regulations and policies, and of the attitudes and practices of banks. To assist us in evaluating this experience, an Advisory Committee of bankers, representing a variety of types and sizes of banks, was appointed. Their Report, which was published in September of 1962 under the title National Banks and the Future, was greeted as a landmark study and set the stage for a new beginning in banking reform.
Ever since that time, a thoroughgoing modernization effort has been underway. In June of 1963, we published the first Manual embodying the changes instituted, and combining in a single volume the basic Laws, Regulations and Rulings applicable to National Banks. A second printing in April of 1965 incorporated the additional rulings issued up to that time. This new edition of the Manual now represents a complete compendium, delineating the full range of public policies applied by this Office to National Banks.
Life has been breathed into the body of bank regulation through the joint efforts of this Office and of the National Banks. The results
which have been achieved are as much the product of renewed banking initiative, seeking, in response to public need and demand, to assure the performance of all financial functions, as of our own efforts to adapt banking regulation to the needs of today—and, so far as we can see, to the requirements of tomorrow. It is our earnest hope that the regulation of National Banks will continue to be a living instrumentality, and not the stale embodiment of policies which had their proper place in other times and under other conditions.
There are now assisting us in our continuing task Advisory Committees to the Administrator of National Banks and to the Regional Administrators. But we hope that each National Bank will continue to initiate new methods and to explore all opportunities for serving the public. This is the ultimate source from which we must refresh our ideas and reshape our policies—so that, in the emerging future, no proper banking function will go unnoticed or unfulfilled through default or neglect, either by this Office or by the National Banks.
We continue to welcome the thoughts and suggestions of all National Banks—so that we may keep our policies and procedures and this Manual of Laws, Regulations and Rulings abreast of the times, and so that the National Banking System may perform at the highest level of efficiency its vital financial role in the Nation's growth and development.
James J. SAXON