Treasury Secretary Yellen Names Michael Hsu to Be Acting OCC Head

May 7, 2021Federal Regulation, News

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has named Michael Hsu, a Federal Reserve official, to serve as the acting head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). The OCC is an independent agency in the Treasury with the responsibility of overseeing national banks. The agency has been led by acting Comptrollers, first Brian Brooks and then Blake Paulson, since the last confirmed Comptroller, Joseph Otting, departed nearly a year ago. 

Hsu is expected to start at the OCC as soon as possible, and will handle issues surrounding banks, including financial technology. Paulson and Democrats have sparred over the OCC’s “True Lender” rule, signed by Acting Comptroller Brooks in October 2020.

“Today, I’m pleased to appoint Michael Hsu to the post of First Deputy Comptroller of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency,” said Secretary Yellen. “When Mike takes office on Monday, he will assume the role of Acting Comptroller.”

“Mike has devoted his career to the stability and supervision of America’s banking system,” Yellen continued. “He is among the most talented and principled regulatory officials that I have had the pleasure of working with, and I am confident he will execute this role with integrity and efficiency.”

President Joe Biden was expected to name former Treasury official Michael Barr as the OCC head, but the move received strong pushback from progressive groups. Some lawmakers, like Senate Banking Committee Chair Sherrod Brown and the Congressional Black Caucus, have advocated for law professor Mehrsa Baradaran, an expert on racial inequities in the financial system, to be nominated.

Before he was named as acting head of the OCC, Hsu ran an internal committee at the Federal Reserve that was responsible for all supervisory issues surrounding the largest U.S. banks.

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