The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency announced the first changes in leadership coming to its office on Monday, with the appointment of a new Chief Risk Officer, William A. Rowe. Rowe will replace Linda Cunningham, who vacated her position back in April upon retiring. He will be responsible for evaluating the risks that face the agency.
In the past, Rowe has served as Deputy to the Chief of Staff and Liason to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation under previous Comptroller of the Currency, Thomas J. Curry, who was appointed by the Obama administration. Curry was replaced by current Acting Comptroller of the Currency Keith A. Noreika in May when Curry’s term expired in April.
Noreika’s replacement as Comptroller of the Currency will be up for review in front of the Senate Subcommittee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Development Thursday July 27. Noreika agreed to serve as Acting Comptroller of the Currency until his replacement was chosen and finished the nomination process.
Noreika’s appointment raised some eyebrows back in April, as he was not required to go through a Senate confirmation hearing on the grounds that he was a special government employee. Further, the Senate subcommittee cited potential conflicts of interest due to the fact that Noreika’s former clients—the banks—were now the entities he was required to regulate.
If all goes to plan, Joseph Otting will be confirmed as the new Comptroller of the Currency after the completion of his hearing Thursday. Otting, who is the former President, CEO, and Board of Directors member at OneWest Bank, will likely encounter push-back from Subcommittee Democrats, who have in the past criticized the way OneWest Bank handled mortgages. Otting was terminated from OneWest back in December of 2015.