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Bank Regulator’s Proposal Guts State Law, Derails Financial Reform

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

CRL, the National Consumer Law Center and other groups yesterday filed a joint comment letter on why a new proposal by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency makes no sense, will not stand up in court, and should be withdrawn. [Read the letter.] Specifically, the OCC has proposed that nationally chartered banks can continue to ignore state laws governing mortgages, credit cards, bank accounts, and other financial products. That's the same OCC position that contributed to the current mortgage mess, at great cost to taxpayers, shareholders, retirees and homeowners.

The OCC's proposal ignores the directive in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009 that explicitly restores the important role of states in protecting consumers. Preemption of state law also runs counter to American history: For most of the 150 years since national banks were created, they have been required to comply with state law.

In recent years and to disastrous effect, the OCC has led the effort to erode states' ability to act as first responders to banks' illegal actions that happen in their own back yards. Unfortunately, the agency's newest proposal continues that effort.

For more information: Kathleen Day at (202) 349-1871 or; Ginna Green at (510) 379-5513 or; or Charlene Crowell at (919) 313-8523 or