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U.S. bank regulator chief to depart, with Coinbase’s former top lawyer set to serve in acting capacity

Joseph Otting is slated to step down from his post as Comptroller of the Currency later this month, according to a new report from the Wall Street Journal .
Brian Brooks, first deputy comptroller and COO of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) — a former chief legal officer at Coinbase — will then take up the role as Acting Comptroller until U.S. President Donald Trump nominates a permanent fixture, according to Politico.
Otting took up the role in 2017 after a member of President Trump's transition team, Keith Noreika, served as acting comptroller. The president nominated Otting only one month after Noreika entered the post, but it took another five months before the Senate confirmed Otting and he formally entered the office.
Now, Brooks is slated to hold the seat of acting comptroller just weeks after becoming First Deputy. He left his role at Coinbase to join his former colleague U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who appointed him to the new role at the start of April. Brooks was previously the vice-chairman of OneWest Bank, which Mnuchin founded.
During his short time with the OCC, Brooks has already spoken about the merits of crypto and the possibility of federal licensing over the state licensing system.
The OCC operates under the Department of the Treasury as a bureau focused on regulating national banks. Otting's departure comes after an attempt to overhaul rules of the Community Reinvestment Act to increase investments in lower-income communities.
The Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 sought to keep banks from withholding loans from lower-income communities, a practice known as "redlining." Otting's work attempts to define further the types of investments in these communities for which banks could be legally credited – a distinction that matters since it can affect expansion for banks that fail to do their part.
Otting sought to complete the work before his departure, advocating for the plan amid the coronavirus pandemic at a May 12 hearing. © 2020 The Block Crypto, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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