Trump's New OCC Head: Who Am I And What Am I Doing Here?

Office of the who and the what-now?

Keith Noreika took the path less traveled on his way to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. On May 1, he was just a humble securities lawyer in charge of the financial regulatory practice at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. Two days later, he'd been named by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin as first deputy comptroller at the OCC. Two days after that, existing comptroller Thomas Curry was out and – to the displeasure of those ethics scolds in the Senate – Noreika had assumed to top spot, sans nomination hearings. And evidently, he's still getting his feet wet:


“Safety and soundness is not always imposing yet another regulation,” Mr. Noreika said Wednesday in his office, adorned with a “Make America Great Again” cap and pictures of his young triplet daughters. “Sometimes regulators need to step back and take stock and say: ‘Well, gee, what works and what was piled on?’ ”

The 44 year-old, until recently a lawyer who advised banks on regulatory matters, is so new to the job leading the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency that he said he didn’t immediately recognize the acronym identifying him as COC, for comptroller of the currency, on documents he received.

In case you were wondering, the COC “charters, regulates, and supervises all national banks and federal savings associations as well as federal branches and agencies of foreign banks.” NBD.

The Volcker Rule: How Trump’s New Regulator May Unleash Big Banks [WSJ]