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February 25, 2023, marks the 160th anniversary of the National Currency Act and the creation of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.
Established by President Abraham Lincoln and charged with organizing and administering a system of nationally chartered banks and a uniform national currency, the OCC has steadfastly served the American public for 160 years by ensuring the federal banking system is safe and sound, provides fair access to financial services, treats customers fairly, and complies with applicable laws and regulations.
In commemoration of its 160th anniversary, the OCC hosted a special celebration on March 2, 2023. The event featured panel discussions with former Comptrollers and Acting Comptrollers of the Currency as well as some of the OCC’s longest-tenured employees.
The OCC also developed historical exhibits to trace its early history managing the nation’s currency between 1863 and 1929, and to chronicle the evolution of the agency’s supervisory approach in response to sweeping changes in laws, financial downturns, and technological developments.
Explore how the OCC has safeguarded trust in banking since 1863.
Explore the OCC's role in establishing trust in banking.
The OCC's history of ensuring the safety and soundness of the federal banking system dates back 160 years.
OCC staff have carefully reviewed and catalogued historical records to compile information about the OCC’s first commissioned examiners, the duty locations of OCC’s early examiners, and the OCC staff who served in our DC headquarters. Please visit the below dashboards for these details of our history.
The official records of each OCC examiner’s commission between 1898 and 1927 were compiled into historical documents and are reflected on this dashboard. Some examiners only served a year, while others served much longer. For many, the commission document was a tremendous source of pride.
Between 1867 and 1931, OCC bank examiner duty location assignments were documented in a regularly-issued government-wide survey known as the Official Register of the United States as well as the annual Comptroller’s Report to Congress. Examiner territories were expansive, so they traveled greatly during this time period, with many examiners navigating across state lines by train, buggy, horses, and sleds in snowy Alaska.
From 1863 to 1941, OCC’s headquarters office employed some 1,200 men and women on the second floor of the U.S. Department of the Treasury building, next to the White House in Washington D.C. During this time, the headquarters staff grew from eight employees to more than 200 in the early 1900s. While most workers were clerks, all early headquarters employee names, job titles and salaries are reflected in this dashboard.