Unlike Otting, who will leave the OCC next week after finishing his primary goal of overhauling the Community Reinvestment Act, Brooks has a deep well of Washington experience. Mnuchin installed Brooks in March as Otting’s successor. Like Otting, he is also a former colleague of Mnuchin’s at OneWest, the bank that Mnuchin made a fortune off of after buying it at the depths of the 2008 financial crisis.
OneWest was acquired by
Brooks will take over the OCC at a challenging time. Besides the struggles of the banking industry amid the Covid-19 crisis, the OCC has broken with other agencies on policy. The most recent example is this week’s re-write of the CRA without the Federal Reserve and
Because Brooks was named first deputy comptroller when appointed, he’s Otting’s automatic successor under the law. The agency has been run by such acting comptrollers for extended periods of time in the past. President
“I am confident that Brian will lead the agency effectively during this challenging time,” Mnuchin said in a statement. “He recognizes the importance of a robust federal banking system to the health and strength of the nation’s economy and has the skills and experience to succeed in this important role.”
Otting is leaving amid intense criticism from Democratic lawmakers.
Even the banking industry had a lukewarm response to Otting’s CRA rule, with the American Bankers Association urging regulators Wednesday to “reconcile the different regulatory regimes now in place.”
Otting had never been popular among Democrats, having arrived in the job with an unabashed affection for lenders and even referring to bankers during his tenure as his customers. As a former bank executive with no government experience, he was an unusual choice to lead the OCC. Otting will return to the private sector, according to the Treasury statement.
Brooks has both industry and policy experience. He was a financial-services lawyer in Washington before joining Mnuchin at OneWest. Prior to accepting a post at the OCC in March, he had been chief legal officer at
(Updates with Mnuchin comment in sixth paragraph)
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