Senate Banking schedules oversight hearing for OCC, with Otting the sole witness

The federal regulator of national banks will be the subject of an oversight hearing March 24 in the Senate, according to the schedule posted on the Banking Committee’s website Monday.

The scheduled sole witness for the hearing is Comptroller of the Currency Joseph M. Otting.

The House Financial Services Committee held an oversight hearing for the Office of the Comproller of the Currency (OCC), with Otting the sole witness, in January. The hearing was contentious, as Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and fellow Democrats lambasted Otting, particularly over his agency’s proposal to reform rules implementing the anti-redlining Community Reinvestment Act (CRA).

At that hearing, Waters demanded that the OCC (and the FDIC, which issued the CRA rules reform proposal jointly with the national bank regulator) increase the comment period from 60 days to 120 days. Otting resisted – even telling Waters that the OCC “won’t extend the comment period.”

However, Feb. 19, the OCC and FDIC eased up on that position, extending the comment period to 90 days (closing on April 8). “The FDIC and OCC have now determined that a 30-day extension of the comment period is appropriate,” the agencies said in a release in February.

Senate Banking Committee: Hearing entitled “Oversight of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency