Report: Otting has Jan. 29 date to explain CRA revamp proposal to House committee

The regulator of national banks gets his chance to discuss his proposed reforms to anti-redlining rules at a Jan. 29 hearing before the House committee that holds oversight authority over his agency.

Politico reported Friday that Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting has apparently agreed to appear before the House Financial Services Committee next month. Politico previously reported that Waters also said before the hearing date was settled that she was prepared to subpoena the comptroller if necessary.

Otting did not appear at Dec. 4 oversight hearing of federal banking and credit union regulators, earning both the dismay and consternation of committee members who wanted to talk to him about his proposal to revamp rules implementing the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). Otting did, however, submit a statement for the record.

In fact, at that hearing, committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) strongly expressed her disappointment that Otting was not at the hearing – and promised that the comptroller would be called alone to testify.

Since then (the week following that hearing) the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) jointly released the proposals on CRA rules.

Waters joined Senate Banking Committee Ranking Member Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and House Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions Chairman Greg Meeks (D-N.Y.) in a Dec. 11 letter to Otting and the leaders of the FDIC and Federal Reserve outlining their concerns over proposed CRA rules changes.

“Many of us have shared our views and concerns with you regarding your proposed changes to implementation of the CRA,” they wrote. “Based on your past responses and statements, as well as the feedback we have received from interested stakeholders, we remain extremely concerned about the direction any proposed rule is likely to take and efforts to arbitrarily rush to finalize a rule in the near future.”