In prepared remarks presented to the House Financial Services Committee, the new acting comptroller of the currency at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) called to study the agency’s digital currency rule-making.
Following the departure of Brian Brooks as the banking regulator’s chairman, Michael Hsu demanded that the OCC’s staff review its approach to digital currency, including updating its charter structure for banks and other organizations, its approach to digital currency custody services, and the establishment of a new Office of Innovation.
“At the OCC, the focus has been on encouraging responsible innovation. I have asked staff to review these actions.”
Hsu stated that the current approach to regulating digital currency is fragmented among various agencies and that a more cohesive approach to establishing legal parameters for the sector is needed.
“To the extent, there is interagency coordination, it tends to be tactical, to deal with a pressing issue, such as Facebook’s Diem.”
Hsu, in particular, stated that he believes the programs were not developed with the input of business stakeholders, which he believes should be a top priority to achieve the best results.
“My broader concern is that these initiatives were not done in full coordination with all stakeholders. Nor do they appear to have been part of a broader strategy related to the regulatory perimeter. I believe addressing both of these tasks should be a priority.”
Hsu stated that his primary goal in reviewing the rules was to ensure that OCC-regulated banks should operate safely and soundly, meet the credit needs of their communities, treat all customers equally, and comply with all laws and regulations.
Brooks left the company in January and was replaced by Hsu, who became CEO of Binance U.S.