You work for a firm that represents ABC Bank, a major U.S. banking institution. The company’s primary lines of business include banking, annuities, insurance and securities. ABC’s CEO has contacted your law firm to help with a variety of issues pertaining to specific rules that have been passed by various administrative agencies. Your client believes that these rules are detrimental to ABC’s business and wants to challenge each rule to the extent possible. Please draft a memo that identifies all potential issues with the following regulations and provide appropriate statutory and/or case law to support your position:
Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) Minimum Savings Account Percentage Regulation: On January 1, the OCC published notice of a rule on its website requiring all banking institutions to provide a minimum interest rate on all savings accounts of 3%. As the OCC began receiving comments from the general public, it quickly realized that there were too many negative comments to respond to. The OCC proceeded to take the top two issues and formally address them in the final rule, which passed the original rule verbatim. Consumer advocacy groups (who did provide positive comments during the comment period) were delighted to see such wonderful interest rates. The economic impact of these changes is projected by top economic scholars to be of great benefit to the American publicU.S Save Our Oceans Act: Congress recently passed an Act that is designed to protect our oceans from catastrophic oil spills. Congress has tasked the EPA as the primary administrative agency to implement the Act. The Act requires all oil companies to use a new material called adamantium, which is 1000 times stronger than titanium, on all oil pipelines within 500 miles of the North American coast within 10 years. Although adamantium is much stronger than titanium, it is also extremely expensive. Thus, the Act creates an enormous cost burden on many oil companies in ABC’s mutual fund portfolios. The Act contains an exemption provision which allows the EPA to exempt any company that shows “good cause.” The EPA also decided to publish guidelines for complying with the Act. Those guidelines clarified certain definitions within the Act and also said that Act’s scope would apply to South American operations for all North American domestic oil companies. Shortly after the Act was passed, the EPA published a rule on its website that imposed a new tax on those companies that were not in compliance with the Act. After receiving a number of comments on the proposed rule, the EPA decided to pass the regulation verbatim.