OCC’s chief counsel retires as Senate prepares to confirm new comptroller

With the approaching confirmation of a new comptroller of the currency, the national banking regulator’s chief counsel has announced her retirement, effective Nov. 11.

Amy Friend, senior deputy comptroller and chief counsel at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency announced her plans Wednesday in a press release. Acting Comptroller Keith Noreika said Friend – who became chief counsel in 2013 — made “far-reaching” contributions to the OCC and to the federal banking system.

“Her work at the agency and on Capitol Hill helped shape financial services as we know it, promote the safety and soundness of our nation’s banks and thrifts, and protect and empower consumers,” Noreika said in a statement. “Her vision and tireless effort to promote responsible innovation at the OCC and throughout the industry changed our national dialogue on the topic.”

Friend’s retirement comes as the Senate is getting ready to consider the confirmation of Joseph Otting as permanent comptroller. Otting’s confirmation was recommended by the Senate Banking Committee (on a 13-10 vote) in early September. Otting was nominated by President Donald Trump in June.

The Senate is out of session until Monday (Oct. 16).

OCC said long-time counsel Karen Solomon will serve as acting senior deputy comptroller and chief counsel; she now oversees the agency’s legislative and regulatory activities, securities and corporate practices, and bank activities and structure divisions. She also supervises the district counsel staffs in the OCC’s Northeastern and Central Districts. She joined the banking regulator in 1995, after having previously served at the Office of Thrift Supervision and its predecessor agency, the Federal Home Loan Bank Board.

Press release: OCC Chief Counsel Amy Friend Announces Retirement