WASHINGTON — Former OneWest President and CEO Joseph Otting has been named as President Trump’s pick to be the next comptroller of the currency, the first of several banking regulators to be officially selected by the administration.
Trump announced his intent to nominate Otting as comptroller late Monday, after months of speculation that he was likely to get the job. While Otting has been a banker for decades, his most well-known role was working with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin at OneWest Bank.
Mnuchin led a group of investors who purchased failed mortgage lender IndyMac from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. in 2009, renaming the bank OneWest. He brought the Southern California bank back to profitability, but also earned a reputation as a profligate user of foreclosure to resolve delinquent loans — an issue that came up repeatedly during Mnuchin’s confirmation hearing in January. Otting served under Mnuchin, later being elevated to president and CEO, and will likely garner similar criticism from Senate Democrats.
Mnuchin eventually sold OneWest to CIT Group in 2015. CIT fired Otting, then serving as CEO, in December of that year, along with 13 other executives. The White House statement announcing his nomination said his most recent position was as managing partner of Ocean Blvd LLC and Lake Blvd LLC.
Otting would prove a key ally for Mnuchin, shoring up his influence in the administration and ensuring a strong working relationship among banking regulators as they begin to fill the ranks.
The administration has been especially slow in naming nominees to head up financial regulators, with three vacancies on the Federal Reserve Board remaining vacant, including the vice chair for supervision. Former Comptroller Thomas Curry’s term expired in April, but he stayed on until early last month when the administration named Keith Noreika as first deputy comptroller and ousted Curry, making Noreika interim comptroller.