Nominee for comptroller’s spot withdraws from consideration

Saule T. Omarova — the nominee for a permanent appointment as comptroller of the currency – has withdrawn her name from consideration, the White House said Tuesday. President Joe Biden (D) accepted the withdrawal.

Omarova had proved to be a controversial nominee to lead the federal bank regulator the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). The American Bankers Association, in a statement, had said her approach to bank regulation would “effectively nationalize America’s community banks, end regulatory tailoring based on risk and eliminate the dual banking system.”

A Cornell University law professor, Omarova is a former special advisor for regulatory policy in the Treasury Department’s office of domestic finance, having served from 2006-07. She has spent most of her career as an academic and lawyer studying and practicing financial regulatory law, according to a biography published by the White House.

She was tapped by the White House for the position in September.

Her nomination ran into particular trouble during a hearing before the Senate Banking Committee, where she faced intense (and, according to some, condescending and even rude questioning from Republican senators).

“I nominated Saule because of her deep expertise in financial regulation and her long-standing, respected career in the private sector, the public sector, and as a leading academic in the field,” Biden said in a statement. “She has lived the dream, escaping her birthplace in the former Soviet Union and immigrating to America, where she went on to serve in the Treasury: Department President George W. Bush and now works as a professor at Cornell Law School.

“As a strong advocate for consumers and a staunch defender of the safety and soundness of our financial system, Saule would have brought invaluable insight and perspective to our important work on behalf of the American people. But unfortunately, from the very beginning of her nomination. Saule was subjected to inappropriate personal attacks that were far beyond the pale. I am thankful to Chairman (Sherrod) Brown (D-Ohio) for giving her a fair hearing and the opportunity to demonstrate her qualifications.”

White House statement: Withdrawal Sent to the Senate