U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen announced her intention to appoint Federal Reserve bank regulator, Michael Hsu, as acting Comptroller of the Currency Friday.
Hsu currently serves as associate director of the Fed’s bank supervision and regulation division. Yellen will appoint him to the role of first deputy comptroller, after which he will assume the role of acting comptroller of the currency.
“Mike has devoted his career to the stability and supervision of America’s banking system,” Yellen said in a statement. “He is among the most talented and principled regulatory officials that I have had the pleasure of working with, and I am confident he will execute this role with integrity and efficiency.”
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is an independent unit of the Treasury Department that oversees federally chartered banks, including Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
Wells Fargo & Co.
and Bank of America Corp.
The regulator has been the subject of recent controversy, after current Acting Comptroller of the Currency Blake Paulsen wrote to lawmakers last month defending a rule that enables nonbank companies to partner with national banks to issue loans, a policy that critics say enable predatory lenders to evade state laws capping interest rates.
The so-called “true lender” rule was finalized in the final months of the Trump administration, and Democratic lawmakers have been working to overturn the regulation through the Congressional Review Act.
The cryptocurrency industry is also watching developments at the OCC closely, after the agency, under the Trump administration, developed a new fintech banking charter that could enable crypto firms to offer lending and payment products and offered guidance that gave the go ahead to nationally chartered banks to offer cryptocurrency custodial services.