House rejects OCC change to bank discrimination rule


The two other bank regulators — the Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation — did not sign onto the OCC’s rule changes. While that leaves out most U.S. banks, the bulk of bank assets, 69 percent, are regulated by the OCC.

The rule change was a top priority for Joseph Otting, who announced his resignation as Comptroller of the Currency a day after its finalization. Otting has been accused of rushing the rule through the regulatory process, and he ignored calls to lengthen the comment and feedback period to account for the coronavirus pandemic.

Congress has 60 legislative days to reverse a federal agency’s rulemaking under the Congressional Review Act. It was only used once before 2017, but Trump has since signed 16 resolutions repealing rules enacted in the waning days of the Obama administration.

Had Otting given in to demands from community groups and some banks to lengthen the public comment period, the rule might not have been finalized with enough time to ensure that the 60-day window would be closed before Democrats have a chance to take control of the Senate and the White House.

Even if the joint resolution dies in the Senate as expected, the rule change won’t be completely in the clear: The National Community Reinvestment Coalition is suing to block it, saying the OCC didn’t provide enough consideration to public feedback. 

Jim Saksa

2020-06-29 17:12:01

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