Regulation

The President Has Made His Choice For Comptroller Of Currency

According to U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, President Donald Trump has made his choice for the head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

Mnuchin did  not say who that person is exactly, but told legislators that the choice is made and that the individual is going through background checks before a formal announcement.

Currently, the job is is being filled by attorney Keith Noreika, whom Mnuchin named as interim head in May. Noreika replaced Thomas Curry, who had served as comptroller under President Obama.

“We actually have someone the president has approved that is going through the FBI vetting process,” Mnuchin said. “This is a time-consuming process.”

Time-consuming, but probably worthwhile — since improperly vetting people for high-level positions has turned out to be something of an issue for the Trump administration thus far.

The rumor mill currently favors Joseph Otting. Otting has worked in the past as a banking executive at OneWest bank, which Mnuchin once headed. Mnuchin said that an OCC pick had been made so as to answer a complaint from Democrats that Trump has installed a new bank regulator on an interim basis who was not confirmed by the Senate.

Senator Chris Van Hollen of Maryland insinuated that this approach was to skirt Senate approval. Mnuchin had insisted that Noreika was a temporary placeholder while a permanent replacement was found.

The Comptroller’s office writes money-laundering rules, bank charters and closely monitors banks’ lending activities.

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