White House: Intends To Nominate Banker Joseph Otting To Top Bank Oversight Post

By Ryan Tracy Features Dow Jones Newswires

President Donald Trump will nominate Joseph Otting to a post overseeing federally chartered banks, a move that would place a former banker in a key role as the Trump team reviews financial regulatory policies.

Continue Reading Below

The White House announced late Monday it intends to nominate Mr. Otting to be comptroller of the currency. The Senate will have to confirm him, a process that could take months. He had previously been reported as a candidate for the job and would replace Keith Noreika, the acting comptroller. The Trump administration installed Mr. Noreika about a month ago to replace former President Barack Obama's comptroller.

Not much is known about Mr. Otting's regulatory views. But he is expected to adopt a similar tone to other Trump administration officials, who have called for a review of banking rules they say went too far under Mr. Obama and are curbing legitimate lending.

The comptroller oversees most of the largest federally chartered U.S. banks, including Citigroup Inc., Bank of America Corp. and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. The position marshals a force of hundreds of examiners stationed inside big banks, giving the comptroller significant sway over the regulatory tone that supervisors take with financial firms.

During the Obama administration, the comptroller's office took an aggressive tone with bankers at times, criticizing them for loans that officials viewed as excessively risky. While the OCC's examiners are unlikely to change their posture overnight, a new comptroller could, over time, give them different marching orders.

Mr. Otting has worked in banking for decades. He began his career at Bank of America. At Union Bank NA in the 1990s, he was in charge of lending to medium-size companies. He later moved to U.S. Bancorp., where he helped build a middle-market business and oversaw an expansion of the lender's presence in California.

Continue Reading Below

In 2010, he was hired as chief executive of OneWest, now owned by CIT Group. He was a lieutenant of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who was chairman of OneWest. Among Mr. Otting's tasks was convincing regulators and community groups that the merger with CIT should proceed.

OneWest was accused of abusing homeowners during the foreclosure process, a charge the bank disputed. Mr. Mnuchin faced questions about those issues during his confirmation hearing earlier this year, but the Senate confirmed him by a 53-47 vote.

The White House said Mr. Otting most recently served as managing partner of Ocean Blvd LLC and Lake Blvd LLC, earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Northern Iowa and graduated from the School of Credit and Financial Management at Dartmouth College.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 05, 2017 21:39 ET (01:39 GMT)