Acting Comptroller voices ‘quiet trustworthiness’ of banks amid crypto bankruptcies, meltdown

The “quiet trustworthiness” of banks in the face of the current “crypto drama” was extolled by the top regulator of national banks Thursday in remarks before a conference focusing on financial literacy issues.

Acting Comptroller of the Currency Michael Hsu noted that the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) last year adopted a “careful and cautious” approach to crypto activities by national banks. “This helped mitigate the risk of contagion from crypto to the banking system,” Hsu told the Financial Literacy and Education Commission’s (FLEC) public meeting in Washington, D.C.

He told the group that reform and rebuilding following the 2008 financial crisis strengthened the banking system, making it more resilient, more fair, and more trustworthy. “While continued improvements need to be made, this has proven valuable with the rapid rise and fall of crypto this past year,” Hsu said.

The acting comptroller said investors who have lost money in the crypto turn down (exemplified by the bankruptcy of crypto exchange FTX) “are not alone.”

“Millions of people have lost money in crypto this past year due to scams, fraud, hacks, and bankruptcies. If you or your loved ones were one of those people, know that you are not alone. The CFPB’s most recent Complaint Bulletin and the FTC’s consumer advice site on crypto scams evidence this and are excellent resources for those looking for facts and for help,” he said.

He also urged consumers to step back and get perspective. “Stepping away from the online chatter can help provide perspective and clarity about one’s situation and the right course of action to strengthen one’s finances and improve one’s financial health,” he said.

Acting Comptroller of the Currency Michael J. Hsu Remarks at the Financial Literacy and Education Commission’s Public Meeting “Careful and Cautious with Crypto”