The Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS), regulator of the nation's federal savings banks, announced on August 3 that it has issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) seeking public comment on approaches for the OTS to consider in expanding its regulatory authority to address unfair or deceptive acts or practices (UDAP) in the OTS-regulated thrift industry.

The OTS is issuing the ANPR to solicit public comment on whether, and how, a UDAP regulation could provide greater clarity to supervised institutions and benefit customers of OTS-regulated entities by promoting fair and equitable practices in lending, deposit-taking and related activities. The ANPR solicits comment on the scope of entities, practices, products and/or customer relationships that should be covered by a revised UDAP regulation. It also seeks comment on whether there is a need for the OTS to expand its regulation in this area, and whether other approaches, including guidance, may be appropriate.

The ANPR reviews OTS legal authority for issuing a UDAP regulation and discusses various approaches that the agency could take, either individually or in conjunction with other initiatives, in issuing such a regulation. The ANPR seeks input on a wide range of issues and questions, including the potential approaches and the prospective benefits, costs and impacts of each.