AFR Statement: Oppose OCC Bid to Control Consumer Protection

Carter Dougherty
(202) 869-0397

In testimony today to the Senate Banking Committee, Acting Comptroller of the Currency Keith Noreika outlined several proposals to weaken financial protections and to transfer key authorities from other financial regulators to the Office of Comptroller of the Currency (OCC).

“The OCC’s proposals would directly weaken financial regulatory protections and push aside other agencies so the OCC could take critical guardrails off of Wall Street on its own,” said Marcus Stanley, policy director of Americans for Financial Reform. “After the multiple and manifest failures of the agency in the leadup to the 2008 financial crisis, the last thing we should be doing is permitting it to weaken post-crisis safeguards.”

“After the OCC’s own report showed the agency repeatedly ignored Wells Fargo cheating its own consumers, it’s hard to take seriously the idea that this agency should have more responsibility for consumer protection,” said Brian Simmonds Marshall, policy counsel at AFR.

These proposals, which would require congressional approval, include:

  • Weakening the Volcker Rule by completely exempting smaller institutions and providing an “off ramp” for even larger institutions
  • Transferring consumer protection supervision of national banks from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to the OCC
  • Expanding federal preemption of state interest rate caps by overturning Madden v. Midland
  • Eliminating bank reporting of small business lending
  • Transferring oversight of certain bank holding companies from the Federal Reserve Board to the OCC
  • Transferring approval of deposit insurance applications by national banks from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to the OCC