Otting Steps Down as Head of OCC

May 27, 2020Federal Regulation

Comptroller of the Currency Joseph M. Otting announced that he will resign from office at the end of this week, just over halfway through his five-year term. First Deputy and Chief Operating Officer Brian P. Brooks will become Acting Comptroller of the Currency until a full-time replacement is confirmed by the Senate.

“I am extremely proud of what the women and men of the agency have accomplished to promote economic opportunity, eliminate unnecessary regulatory burden, and operate the agency in a more effective and efficient manner,” Otting said.

Otting was the first former bank executive to lead the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) in more than 30 years. During his leadership, the OCC rationalized capital and liquidity rules, and modernized rules in the Dodd-Frank Act, so banks could serve customers with more security.

An article from The Hill highlighted that Otting has received some scrutiny from industry skeptics, notably for his role as chief executive and president of OneWest Bank. During his tenure with the bank, it foreclosed on over 36,000 homes and he signed a settlement with federal regulators that accused the bank of improperly reviewing foreclosure papers before signing them.

Neither the OCC nor Otting himself have explained the resignation, especially as banks prepare for bankruptcies, foreclosures, and business closures as a result of COVID-19. Federal bank regulators have expressed that while most U.S. banks should be able to withstand the dip, other weak points in the financial system could cause more expansive issues.

However, Otting has expressed confidence in the OCC to handle any arising issues. “Brian and the Executive Committee are extremely well suited to continue the agency’s important work and succeed in its mission of ensuring banks operate in a safe, sound, and fair manner,” he said.



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