The OCC Now Has a Permanent Comptroller
On November 16, the US Senate confirmed by a 54–43 vote the appointment of President Donald Trump’s nominee Joseph Otting as the new Comptroller of the Currency. Mr. Otting presumably will assume his new duties promptly. Reportedly, current acting Comptroller Keith Noreika will return to the private sector.
Mr. Otting, who at one time in his career was chief executive officer of OneWest Bank Group, which acquired most of the business of the failed IndyMac Bank and which was headed by Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, is expected to support the administration’s efforts to move bank regulation and supervision in a more deregulatory direction. During his confirmation hearing, Mr. Otting drew strong criticism from Senate Democrats, mostly for his industry ties and the mortgage foreclosure activities of OneWest in the aftermath of the financial crisis. Mr. Otting’s prior public statements suggest that, as comptroller, he will focus on matters such as regulatory relief for community banks and regulatory and supervisory actions that would promote bank lending. He also has expressed support, however, for the overall bank regulatory framework, suggesting that he may adopt a more measured approach to changes in bank regulation and supervision.