The Senate on Thursday confirmed former bank executive Joseph Otting to be comptroller of the currency, the top federal banking watchdog.
Otting was confirmed by a 54-to-43 vote largely along party lines. Sens. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinPelosi says House members would not vote on spending bill topline higher than Senate's To reduce poverty, stop burdening the poor: What Joe Manchin gets wrong about the child tax credit Overnight Health Care — Presented by Indivior —Pfizer: COVID-19 vaccine safe for young kids MORE (W.Va.) and Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampWashington's oldest contact sport: Lobbyists scrum to dilute or kill Democrats' tax bill Progressives prepare to launch counterattack in tax fight Business groups aim to divide Democrats on .5T spending bill MORE (N.D.) were the only Democrats to support him. Otting will replace acting Comptroller Keith Noreika, who has filled the role since May.
Otting was the president and CEO of OneWest Bank, where he worked with Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven MnuchinMenendez, Rubio ask Yellen to probe meatpacker JBS The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Goldman Sachs - Biden rallies Senate Dems behind mammoth spending plan Mnuchin dodges CNBC questions on whether Trump lying over election MORE, and a vice chairman at U.S. Bancorp before that. He presided over hundreds of thousands of foreclosures at OneWest Bank, which has been investigated for multiple federal and state housing violations.
While Republicans praised Otting’s experience in the banking sector, Democrats criticized his record handling foreclosures at OneWest.
"This Administration is putting the banking industry back in charge of policing itself," said Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownCentrist state lawmaker enters Ohio GOP Senate primary The Trojan Horse of protectionism Advocates call on top Democrats for 0B in housing investments MORE (Ohio), the top Democrat on the Senate Banking Committee.
"And Joseph Otting is yet another bank exec who profited off the financial crisis who is being rewarded by the Trump Administration with a powerful job overseeing our nation’s banking system."
Otting said during a Senate Banking Committee hearing that his career “touched virtually every segment of the industry,” including work at banks of all sizes. He said his time OneWest was smeared by a “false narrative.”
As OneWest president, Otting signed a settlement with federal regulators who accused the bank of automatically signing foreclosure papers without reviewing them properly, called “robo-signing.”
Otting claimed that OneWest didn’t robo-sign documents but that he had to sign the consent order to save the business and his employees.