On September 8, 2016, as it indicated it would do in the Joint Report on Banking Activities and Investments, the OCC issued a proposed rule that would prohibit national banks and federal savings associations from dealing and investing in industrial or commercial metal. If finalized, the prohibition would cover metal, including alloy, in a physical form primarily suited to industrial or commercial use (including, for example: copper cathodes, aluminum T-bars and gold jewelry). The proposal states that such metals do not constitute “exchange, coin, and bullion” under 12 USC 24(Seventh), nor would buying or selling such metals for the purpose of dealing or investing in that metal be part of or incidental to the business of banking. By operation of various federal laws, the prohibition would also apply to FDIC-insured state banks and to US branches and agencies of foreign banks. Comments must be submitted 60 days from the date of the proposed rule’s publication in the Federal Register.

The text of the OCC proposed rule is available at: http://www.occ.gov/news-issuances/news-releases/2016/nr-occ-2016-108a.pdf