“We need to undo the damage caused by the last four years of policy: rebuilding a strong Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and building resiliency in the financial system with stronger capital and liquidity regulations, for example,” he said in June 2020.
Whoever is chosen as comptroller of the currency would grapple with how to reduce the number of people who are shut out of the financial system — a circumstance that hurts their ability to get government aid or take out loans, particularly if they don’t have credit scores.
The new regulator would also supervise the national banking system at a time of technological upheaval, with traditional lenders confronting both competition and business opportunities from upstart online lenders and financial apps — innovation that could lead to more efficient and equitable delivery of financial services but also more consumer abuses.
Enforcement of the Community Reinvestment Act, a 1977 law designed to combat discriminatory lending practices by banks, is expected to be an early focus for regulators in the Biden administration. A Trump-appointed comptroller, Joseph Otting, overhauled the historic anti-redlining law without support from the other two federal bank regulators: the Federal Reserve and FDIC. His move was also opposed by Democrats and community groups and faced skepticism from banks.
The Fed has already started work on an alternative approach.
Democrats have also pushed for a Biden appointee to reverse other actions by the Trump-era OCC, including rules that they believe make it easier for payday lenders to partner with banks to get around state interest rate caps.
Baradaran teaches at the University of California at Irvine Law School, where she is associate dean for diversity and inclusion. She has written a book called “The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap,” which focuses on barriers facing Black-owned financial institutions and the dynamics behind the barriers to building wealth faced by Black Americans.
Barr is dean of public policy at the University of Michigan and a nonresident senior fellow at the Center for American Progress. He worked as assistant Treasury secretary for financial institutions in 2009 and 2010 and served in the Obama White House before that. He also worked at Treasury under President Bill Clinton.
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