Banking and Finance Law Daily Otting to leave OCC; Brian P. Brooks named Acting Comptroller of the Currency
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Thursday, May 21, 2020

Otting to leave OCC; Brian P. Brooks named Acting Comptroller of the Currency

By John M. Pachkowski, J.D.

Joseph Otting will step down as Comptroller of the Currency and Brian P. Brooks will become Acting Comptroller of the Currency on May 29, 2020.

Comptroller of the Currency Joseph M. Otting has announced he will leave the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency on May 29, 2020. Secretary of the Treasury Steven T. Mnuchin, acting pursuant to 12 USC §4, has designated First Deputy and Chief Operating Officer Brian P. Brooks to become Acting Comptroller of the Currency.

Prior to coming to the OCC, Brooks served as Chief Legal Officer of Coinbase, Inc. since 2018. He also served on the board of Fannie Mae since March 2019 and the board of Avant, Inc. Prior to Coinbase, Mr. Brooks served as Executive Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary of Fannie Mae. He was a member of the senior executive management team at OneWest Bank, N.A., as Vice Chairman and Chief Legal Officer.

Commenting on his departure, Otting stated, "It has been my distinct honor to serve the United States and this Administration as the 31st Comptroller of the Currency. 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." He added, "The agency and the nation are fortunate that the OCC has a deep bench. 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."

In a public statement released by the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton said, "Over the past three years, Comptroller Joseph Otting and his team at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency have been an invaluable resource to me and the Commission staff, including [those] in connection with Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) matters. Investors and our markets more generally have benefitted from their valuable insight into, and advice regarding, market conditions and, in particular, the interconnections between the capital markets and the banking sector. Importantly, this insight and advice, without exception, has embodied Comptroller Otting’s operational experience, market expertise, pragmatism and candor."

The American Bankers Association issued a statement that the organization "deeply appreciates Comptroller Joseph Otting's leadership at the OCC over the last two and a half years and his willingness to take on difficult issues. His previous experience as a banker gave him a unique understanding of how the industry can best serve its customers and communities, while also maintaining safety, soundness and consumer protections. The ABA’s statement added, "We welcomed his interest in hearing from all stakeholders, and we know the OCC will continue in that spirit when Brian Brooks takes over as Acting Comptroller."

Consumer Bankers Association President and CEO Richard Hunt, said, "As the first comptroller in more than 30 years with banking experience, Joseph Otting brought not only a clear vision of what he wanted to accomplish but also real-world banking experience. Comptroller Otting came with clear goals in mind and during his tenure improved the efficiency of the OCC, encouraged banks to reenter the small-dollar lending space, and laid out his roadmap for a modernized CRA."

Companies: American Bankers Association; Avant, Inc.; Coinbase, Inc.; Consumer Bankers Association; Fannie Mae; OneWest Bank, N.A.

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