Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting met Tuesday with acting Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Mick Mulvaney to discuss ways to reduce regulatory burden and coordinate supervision of financial firms.

The two banking regulators met for 45 minutes at the CFPB to discuss ways to make the financial system more efficient.

The job of regulators "is to help our system fulfill its important role in society by ensuring it operates in a safe and sound manner and treats customers fairly," Otting said in a press release issued by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. "But, unnecessary regulatory burden is a waste that places a drag on our entire economy without making the system safer or fairer."

Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting
Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting praised his counterpart at the CFPB "for realigning his agency’s mission to the current needs of the nation, making its processes more transparent and fair." Bloomberg News

Otting, the former president and CEO of OneWest Bank, in Pasadena, Calif., now part of CIT Group, heaped praise on Mulvaney, who has faced a Democratic backlash for many of his moves and is the target of a legal challenge by Leandra English, the deputy director and former aide to previous Director Richard Cordray, who claims she is the rightful acting director.

Otting praised steps by Mulvaney such as halting the CFPB's payday rule as a well as a rule that expands the amount of mortgage data lenders must collect.

"Acting Director Mulvaney has helped reduce the burden on the banking system by delaying implementation of his agency’s Home Mortgage Disclosure Act rule, committing to reconsidering its payday lending rule, and deferring action on additional regulations until completing a more thorough review of those matters," Otting said in the release. "I also applaud him for realigning his agency’s mission to the current needs of the nation, making its processes more transparent and fair."

While is it not unusual for regulators to work together — former Comptroller Thomas Curry met on a regulator basis with former CFPB Director Richard Cordray — issuing a press release about the meeting with praise for a fellow regulator is somewhat atypical.

"I have been impressed with Mick’s leadership and emphasis on operational efficiency and excellence," Otting said.

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