In this report, we assess Comptroller Otting’s appearance today before Senate Banking at which Democrats made clear their deep suspicion, if not outright opposition, to overhauling any CRA requirements in the wake of Mr. Otting’s comments yesterday that he was not personally aware of ongoing credit discrimination (see Client Report REFORM150). Ranking Member Brown (D-OH) and Sen. Warren (D-MA) said they do not trust Mr. Otting on this issue, with Sen. Brown adding that CRA reforms should not proceed without the complete support of the civil rights community. He also asked whether Mr. Otting believes that an “old boys’ network” has hindered the hiring of women and minorities in banking. Mr. Otting said that he is unaware of any such network but is opposed to one if it exists. With Mr. Otting’s views on discrimination under the microscope, Sen. Schatz (D-HI) blasted the OCC’s action under former Acting Comptroller Noreika to prevent the consideration of discriminatory lending in CRA evaluations absent a link to community reinvestment (see FSM Report CRA19) and got Mr. Otting to commit to review the policy.
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