BRIEFLY: Law professor picked to lead OCC; NCUA did not act aggressively enough on taxi CUs, GAO asserts; Cannabis-protection bill advances in House

(Sept. 24, 2021) Saule T. Omarova, a Cornell University law professor, is President Joe Biden’s (D) pick as nominee to a five-year term for Comptroller of the Currency, the White House announced Thursday. A former special advisor for regulatory policy in the Treasury Department’s office of domestic finance (from 2006-07), Omarova has spent most of her career as an academic and lawyer studying and practicing financial regulatory law, according to a biography published by the White House … NCUA did not always pursue enforcement actions aggressively enough with regard to failed credit unions with concentrations in taxicab medallions, or conduct post-mortem reviews of failed credit unions as required, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said in a report issued Thursday. The report, the congressional watchdog said, was aimed at analyzing the causes of failure and observed opportunities for NCUA to enhance its oversight. The report takes particular focus on the failure in 2018 of three credit unions with loans concentrated in taxi medallions with declining values. GAO said it recommended that the agency enhance its tracking of enforcement data, act earlier on indications of future problems, and complete post-mortem reviews in a timely manner … Credit unions and banks serving legal, cannabis-related businesses would receive a “safe harbor” and other protections under legislation that was added this week to the House version of must-pass FY22 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which annually funds the nation’s military, among other things. The House passed the bill – Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act — as a standalone measure earlier this year, but it has not advanced in the Senate. Including it in the NDAA helps the SAFE Banking Act’s chances for final enactment, but is still subject to change in the Senate.


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