Resistance to the plan reported by US President Joe Biden to win a staunch banking and crypto critic to head the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) is growing.
The proposal to appoint a law professor, Saule Omarova, to head the federal banking regulator has caught the attention of political and financial circles as it is widely viewed as anti-crypto and anti-big banks.
Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz is the latest crypto ally to speak up, claiming that their decisions, if nominated, could instantly change the future of the industry. tweet on 09/28
“Saule Omarova, Biden’s decision to run the OCC is not only a threat to our traditional economy, it also wants crypto to be forgotten. In the future, cryptocurrencies will be exposed to deterministic government regulations. This nomination must be stopped. “
Several major banks and banking associations also opposed the nomination, with the Association of American Bankers debating whether to publicly oppose the decision. “We are deeply concerned about your idea of fundamentally restructuring the national banking system,” said Rob Nichols, President and CEO of ABA, in a September statement.
The Republican Senate Banking Committee leader Pat Toomey also spoke out against the nomination last week, saying he had “serious reservations” about her “far-left ideas”.
Independent Community Bank of America President and CEO Rebeca Rainey said Omarova “will crowd out local banking and limit economic growth in local communities,” the statement said.
The OCC oversees US banking giants such as Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and Citi Group and will also cover aspects of the crypto industry.
Omarova, who previously said she wanted to end “banking as we know it,” is expected to enforce stricter rules. She has also stated that the surge in cryptocurrencies “will primarily benefit the dysfunctional financial system we already have”.
According to Bloomberg, she shares the view with anti-crypto lawmakers like Senator Elizabeth Warren that digital assets pose a risk of destabilizing the economy. For his part, Warren said the nomination was “great news” and expected tougher regulations.
Related: New OCC boss calls for review of crypto rules
The OCC went from being one of the Treasury’s crypto routing agencies to one that changed direction under their leadership at the time. Former Coinbase legal head Brian Brooks joined the OCC in March 2020, paving the way for legislation that would allow banks to deposit cryptocurrencies.
In January, banking regulators informed the national banks that they could operate standalone nodes for distributed ledger networks such as stablecoins. But then the tone changed. On September 21, OCC chief Michael Hsu warned that decentralized financial products are similar to those that sparked the 2008 global financial crisis.