Yellen names Fed associate director as pick for acting OCC chief

After reports emerged last week that Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen was gearing up to name a new acting head of the U.S. banking regulator, Yellen has announced her intention to appoint Michael Hsu as First Deputy Comptroller of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). 

Hsu previously worked as an associate director in the Division of Supervision and Regulation at the Federal Reserve. There, he supervised some of the U.S.'s largest banks. Before that he also spent time with the International Monetary Fund and the Securities and Exchange Commission. Now he'll ascend to the seat of acting comptroller on Monday.

“Mike has devoted his career to the stability and supervision of America’s banking system," said Yellen's announcement. "He is among the most talented and principled regulatory officials that I have had the pleasure of working with, and I am confident he will execute this role with integrity and efficiency.”

In a statement from the Treasury, Hsu said he's looking forward to using his time as acting comptroller to address the most urgent problems at hand.

"I am looking forward to building on the agency’s long history and rich heritage. My focus as Acting Comptroller will be on solving urgent problems and addressing pressing issues until the 32nd Comptroller is confirmed.”

Hsu takes the reins from Blake Paulson, who served as in the interim of Brian Brooks' departure. Brooks made considerable efforts to expand the OCC's framework for crypto.

During his time he issued two letters clarifying federally chartered banks could transact in stablecoins and host reserve accounts for stablecoin issuers, as well as granting the first conditional bank charter to a crypto company in Anchorage.