U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) Chief Brian P. Brooks officially announced his resignation on January 14, 2021.
In a statement dated Jan. 13, the organization said COO Blake Paulson would become Acting Currency Controller, replacing Brooks who served for eight months.
Brian P. Brooks to resign, Blake Paulson to become Acting Currency Controller on January 14, 2021 https://t.co/bGpnNapT1F
– OCC (@USOCC) January 13, 2021
Outgoing Chief Brooks, formerly Legal Manager at Coinbase, has been a breath of fresh air with his forward-looking approach. On January 12, he suggested that DeFi could eliminate bias and fraud in traditional banks, and that regulation needs to be reconfigured for an era of algorithms.
After several years of regulatory uncertainty, the agency, which reports to the US Treasury, recently took steps to allow banks to use independent blockchain nodes and stablecoins.
The announcement acknowledged these achievements by adding that Brooks had helped ensure that “the federal banking system can evolve to meet changing consumer and market demands by clarifying the banking and savings authorities regarding certain asset-related activities. cryptographic ”.
Outgoing President Donald Trump formally appointed Brooks for a full five-year term in November, but resistance came from Democrats who believed President-elect Joe Biden should oversee the selection.
Brooks, a former Coinbase executive, said he was leaving the OCC in good hands. His replacement, Paulson, is a career bank examiner and has served as the agency’s director of operations since June 2020. Prior to his role at the agency, Paulson was responsible for overseeing approximately 1,100 national banks and federal savings associations, so he is essentially a traditional veteran banker.
It is unclear how Paulson will approach crypto assets, but Democratic members of the United States Congress have previously criticized Brooks for putting too much emphasis on moves to digital banking and not enough on relief from Covid-19.
The OCC oversees nearly 1,200 national banks, federal savings associations, federal branches, and agencies of foreign banks, which alone conduct approximately 70% of all banking business in the United States.