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Politics & Money

Trump nominates Brian Brooks for head of OCC

Brooks has been acting head since Joseph Otting stepped down 6 months ago

After six months of filling the position temporarily, Brian Brooks, current acting head for the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), announced on Tuesday that President Donald Trump intends to nominate him to serve as the 32nd Comptroller of the Currency.

In his announcement, Brooks said it is a “great honor” to have Trump announce his intention to nominate him for the position.

“As Acting Comptroller of the Currency, I am proud to contribute to this 157-year-old mission. If confirmed, I will work ceaselessly to ensure the agency continues to fulfill its critical mission and the men and women of this agency have the resources, training, and leadership they need to succeed in their duties,” Brooks said in a statement.

“The mission of the Comptroller of the Currency benefits each American by ensuring our national banks and federal savings associations operate in a safe, sound, and fair manner. The OCC aims to promote fair access to capital and credit for the hundreds of millions of customers the federal banking system serves,” Brooks continued “We strive to make sure banks remain capable of providing the financial services that businesses and communities depend on to conduct their important activities each day.

“The more than 3,500 men and women of the OCC tirelessly work to keep the U.S. banking system the most respected in the world and a powerful source of strength for our economy and the nation,” Brooks said.

Brooks originally took the position of acting comptroller after former leader Joseph Otting announced he was stepping down on May 21, one day after the OCC released its final rule on “strengthening and modernizing” the CRA. Brooks and Otting both previously worked at OneWest Bank, alongside Department of the Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Mnuchin and his partners at Dune Capital Management formed OneWest where Brooks served as the vice chairman and chief legal officer.

Brooks eventually left the company in 2014 to become Fannie Mae’s executive vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary, a role he held for almost four years. He would then become the chief legal officer of Coinbase, one of the world’s largest digital currency exchanges.

Brooks ascended to the top spot at the OCC just two months after he joined the banking regulator as chief operating officer and first deputy comptroller.

At the time of his initiation, and Otting’s departure, Brooks laid out a mission for the OCC as it attempted to navigate through the pandemic while strengthening the nation’s economy.

His priorities included building upon responsible innovation to help the banking system keep up with changes in the way consumers and business manage their finances, and enhancing the strength of the federal banking system through scope and relevance.

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