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The Real Deal Los Angeles

Trump taps former OneWest CEO Joseph Otting for powerful regulatory position

Nomination needs confirmation from Senate Banking Committee
June 07, 2017 05:30PM

OneWest Bank headquarters, Donald Trump (Google Maps/Getty Images)

Joseph Otting, former CEO of Pasadena-based OneWest Bank, has been nominated by President Trump to be the comptroller of the currency, a regulator who oversees federally chartered banks.

Trump’s Tuesday announcement of the nomination has drawn sharp criticism from consumer advocates and Democrats.

Opponents argue that Otting will be in a position to oversee banks even though his previous company, OneWest, has faced trouble with regulators over its foreclosure practices, the Los Angeles Times reported. Opponents had similar complaints against Steve Mnuchin, former chairman of OneWest, who is now Trump’s Treasury Secretary.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Curreny is an independent bureau of the Treasury Department. It was a major player in last year’s $185 million settlement with Wells Fargo over the bank’s creation of unauthorized accounts.

Otting has spent his career in commercial banking with no record of government service. If approved by the Senate Banking Committee, he would be the first former top bank executive to lead the Comptroller’s office in nearly a century, according to the L.A. Times.

Otting would replace Keith Noreika, whom Trump appointed last month as acting comptroller, replacing Thomas Curry after his five-year term expired.

CIT Group acquired OneWest in 2015 and subsequently fired Otting as it reshuffled executives. He received a severance of more than $12 million.

Since then, he has been spending most of his time in Las Vegas, where he co-owns the private Southern Highlands Golf Club. [LAT]Subrina Hudson