Clarke to Leave Office at End of February

WASHINGTON - Comptroller of the Currency Robert L. Clarke said Tuesday that he plans to step down at the end of February.

The Senate Banking Committee refused Nov. 6 to approve Mr. Clarke's nomination to a second, five-year term.

He revealed his intention in Kansas City at a meeting of his agency's examiners. The Treasury Department is expected to use December and January, while Congress is in recess, to seek a successor.

"I worry that it may take a long time to find somebody who meets the qualifications, who is willing to make the sacrifices you have to make," Mr. Clarke said in an interview this week. "Candidly, people have to look at my experience and ask themselves: 'Do I want to be put through all of this?'"

Mr. Clarke's renomination was before the Senate for 10 months before it was rejected, 12-9, by the banking panel.

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