OCC Upheld In W.V. Bank Suit

A three-judge panel in Virginia last week became the first federal court to uphold the right of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to preempt state law governing bank insurance sales.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit in Richmond, Va., ruled 2-1 that the OCC could preempt part of a West Virginia law limiting bank sales of insurance. It dismissed a petition from West Virginia Insurance Commissioner Jane L. Cline to strike down the OCCs preemption of part of a state law that forbids banks from selling insurance to a loan customer until after the loan is approved, and stops banks from sharing client information with their insurance affiliates.

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