Senate Expected to Vote Soon on Confirmation of Otting, Former Banker, to Regulate Banks as Comptroller

by Jeff Sovern

Bloomberg is reporting in a story headlined Senate Clears Way for Ex-Mnuchin Deputy to Lead Bank Regulator, that:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has filed a motion to kick off debate and an eventual vote to appoint Otting as head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. It will likely take several days before lawmakers consider Otting’s nomination and they will have to spend 30 hours of floor time debating the selection before a vote.

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Otting is a former banker, having led OneWest as chief executive officer when Mnuchin was chairman. Democrats including Senator Elizabeth Warren, one of Wall Street’s loudest critics in Congress, have questioned OneWest’s home foreclosure practices when Otting and Mnuchin were running the lender. * * * 

Regular readers of the blog will recall that when states passed laws to prevent predatory lending, the Bush-era OCC declared the laws inapplicable to national banks.  The OCC also dropped the ball on the Wells Fargo unauthorized account scandal: despite receiving hundreds of whistleblower complaints by 2010, all it did was raise the issue with Wells–after which the OCC dropped it, while Wells employees continued opening unauthorized accounts. This nomination does not bode well for consumer protection.

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