Senate Banking Panel to Vote on Trump Picks for Fed, OCC

By Jeff Bater

Two important nominations for the Trump administration’s bank regulatory team are set for Senate committee action in the week ahead.

The Senate Banking Committee has scheduled Sept. 7 votes on the nominations of Randal Quarles to serve as Federal Reserve vice chairman for bank supervision and Joseph Otting to head the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

The two posts are seen as important components of the administration’s plans to relax Dodd-Frank Act rules enacted after the financial crisis.

During his July 27 confirmation hearing, Quarles said regulatory policies enacted since the crisis have improved the safety and soundness of the financial system, but added that “some refinements will undoubtedly be in order.”

Quarles took heat from Democratic senators for his role as a top-level Treasury Department official in the George W. Bush administration before the 2008 financial crisis. Quarles conceded he should have been tougher on banks during his tenure as Treasury under secretary for domestic finance.

Otting appeared alongside Quarles at the hearing, and defended his tenure as chief executive officer of OneWest Bank, a lender that foreclosed on tens of thousands of homes in the years after the housing bust.

Republicans on the committee, on the other hand, praised the depth of experience of Quarles and Otting.

FSOC Insurance

The Senate Banking Committee is also scheduled to consider legislation Sept. 7 that is meant to ensure the Financial Stability Oversight Council maintains at least one member with insurance industry expertise.

The bill (S. 1463) allows the FSOC’s insurance member to remain past his or her term for up to 18 months, or until a successor is confirmed. The FSOC ‘s current insurance expert, S. Roy Woodall Jr., was confirmed by the Senate in September 2011 for a six-year term that will soon expire.

The Dodd-Frank technical bill was introduced in June by the Senate Banking Chairman Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), the panel’s top Democrat.

A companion measure was passed unanimously in July by the House Financial Services Committee. H.R. 3110 was introduced by Reps. Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.) and Maxine Waters (D-Calif.).

To contact the reporter on this story: Jeff Bater in Washington at jbater@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Ferullo at MFerullo@bna.com

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