Acting OCC Head Says Priorities are Climate, Technology, and Regulations

May 19, 2021Federal Regulation, News

Michael J. Hsu, who earlier this month was named Acting Comptroller of the Currency, stated last week that the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) will focus on issues surrounding climate change, technological development, and regulatory standards until the Biden administration appoints a permanent head of the agency. The agency will also conduct a full review of regulatory standards.

“The review will take into account a full range of views, both external and internal,” wrote Hsu in a message to employees. “I want to make sure that we distinguish the forest from the trees, that changed circumstances due to the pandemic are considered, and that all alternatives are evaluated.”

Hsu’s top priority, according to the letter, is to address urgent issues so the OCC can fulfill its mission of ensuring a safe and fair banking system, as the banks and associations that the agency supervises are facing more changes than ever.

“Climate change poses new risks and challenges for banks, and we need to make sure they understand those risks and are capable of managing them,” he said. “Technological change and digitalization have accelerated and are changing how people and businesses bank. And complacency about risk-taking is of increasing supervisory concern as we enter a phase of growth and heightened competition.”

“In my discussions with you, I hope to learn about similarly urgent matters requiring agency attention and what we can do to address them,” Hsu continued.” In closing, he said that the OCC will schedule a town hall call to answer questions.

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