OCC Chief Praises Mulvaney On Halting Payday Rule

After a 45-minute meeting on Tuesday (Feb. 6), Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting had nothing but praise for acting Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Mick Mulvaney.

According to American Banker, the two met to discuss how to reduce regulatory burden, as well as to coordinate supervision of financial firms.

The job of regulators “is to help our system fulfill its important role in society by ensuring it operates in a safe and sound manner and treats customers fairly,” Otting said in a press release. “But, unnecessary regulatory burden is a waste that places a drag on our entire economy without making the system safer or fairer.”

Otting was also complimentary regarding some of Mulvaney’s decisions while at CFPB, including the reversal of the bureau’s payday rule.

“Acting Director Mulvaney has helped reduce the burden on the banking system by delaying implementation of his agency’s Home Mortgage Disclosure Act rule, committing to reconsidering its payday lending rule, and deferring action on additional regulations until completing a more thorough review of those matters,” Otting said in the release. “I also applaud him for realigning his agency’s mission to the current needs of the nation, making its processes more transparent and fair.”

“I have been impressed with Mick’s leadership and emphasis on operational efficiency and excellence,” Otting added.

Last week, Senators Elizabeth Warren and Maxine Waters, as well as four additional Democrats, called for answers regarding the sudden change of heart on the payday rule. “We have a number of questions about the sudden reversal of the CFPB’s positions,” the letter stated. “The agency barely explained its payday rule reversal.”

The letter was also addressed to Leandra English, who is embroiled in a lawsuit against Mulvaney, who was appointed by President Donald Trump on Nov. 25 of last year after Richard Cordray stepped down from the director role.

But English, who had been named deputy director by Cordray before he left, sued Trump and Mulvaney, stating that she should be the new acting director under the Dodd-Frank Act. She also sought to block Mulvaney from running the agency.

After District Court Judge Timothy J. Kelly denied English’s temporary restraining order in December, English filed an appeal last month, which has now been expedited by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

Mulvaney had long been a critic of the CFPB, calling the agency a “sad, sick joke.”

“Americans deserve a CFPB that seeks to protect them, while ensuring free and fair markets for all consumers,” Mulvaney said in a statement to The Wall Street Journal.


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