In the Trump administration, it appears that birds of a deregulatory feather flock together.
On Tuesday, Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting said that he supports the actions being taken by Mick Mulvaney at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
In just the last few weeks, Mulvaney told the CFPB’s employees that the agency was ending regulation by enforcement, and said the CFPB works not only for consumers, but also for the companies it supervises.
Mulvaney also stripped the CFPB’s Office of Fair Lending of its enforcement powers, announced that the bureau would “reconsider” the agency’s payday lending rules, and defanged the changes in Home Mortgage Disclosure Act reporting that were to take effect this year, just to name a few.
In a statement released Tuesday by the OCC, Otting said that he has been “impressed” with Mulvaney’s leadership and the moves he’s made so far.
Otting said that he met with Mulvaney on Tuesday to discuss way the two agencies can “work together to ensure the nation’s banking system continues to meet the needs of consumers, businesses, and communities across the country.”
Otting also said that the two Trump administration officials discussed how the agencies can coordinate to “to make supervision more efficient and to ensure banks continue to treat customers fairly and comply with laws and regulations.”
Otting became Office of the Comptroller of the Currency late last year. Otting, who referred to himself as a “career banker,” served as the CEO of OneWest Bank from 2010 until 2015. In that role, he worked closely with Steven Mnuchin, the bank’s former chairman, who is now Secretary of the Department of the Treasury.
When he took over at the OCC, Otting pledged to reduce the “unnecessary burden” that banks face when trying to operate.
And in his statement about his meeting with Mulvaney, Otting again emphasized his desire to reduce the regulatory burden that financial instructions face.
“I have been impressed with Mick’s leadership and emphasis on operational efficiency and excellence. I share his willingness to reevaluate practices and programs that result in regulatory overreach and unnecessary burden that adversely affect banks’ ability to serve their customers,” Otting said.
“We have a common belief that our financial system functions best, when it works for everyone—meeting the financial needs of consumers and businesses, creating jobs, and fueling economic growth,” Otting continued.
“Our jobs as 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,” he added. “But, unnecessary regulatory burden is a waste that places a drag on our entire economy without making the system safer or fairer.”
Otting also called out specific actions Mulvaney has taken as ones he supports, including delaying the HMDA reporting changes and reconsidering the payday rule.
“I also applaud him for realigning his agency’s mission to the current needs of the nation, making its processes more transparent and fair,” Otting said, adding that he looks forward to continuing to work with Mulvaney in the future.